Weber City, VA — More than 60,000 public school students and their families from across Virginia will read the same book on the same schedule starting Friday, March 1. It’s all part of Virginia Reads One Book — a new reading program from Richmond-based Read to Them. Powell Valley National Bank is a proud sponsor of this program at Weber City Elementary School, where more than 385 students and staff will participate.
“At kick-off events in each school, students will receive their own copies of Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire to take home and read with their families,” says Read to Them Program Director Cathy Plageman. “Students will follow along as a mystery reader from the Washington Redskins, through a partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, reads the first chapter aloud on an exclusive video cast. For the next three weeks, students and their families read a chapter each night at home, coordinating with classroom and school-wide activities.”
“Cleo Edison Oliver is a chapter book featuring a sassy, confident, independent, enterprising girl who is ready to take on the world. Cleo is an African-American elementary school girl who is focused on business, whether it’s selling avocados, homemade dogfood or concocting a money-making scheme to pull loose teeth. Her story takes place on the playground — and along the way she discovers basic financial principles. We expect the students will have a lot of fun reading about Cleo,” says Plageman. “In fact, we hope it may even inspire some students to become budding entrepreneurs themselves!”
“We are proud to again be a statewide sponsor of Virginia Reads One Book. The program not only boosts students’ reading abilities, but it shows them reading is fun in an atmosphere that strengthens family and community interactions,” says Bruce Whitehurst, president and CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association. “With the support of Powell Valley National Bank, the school receives a book for every student and complimentary staff copies, both family literacy and financial literacy activities, school assembly suggestions, teacher resources, and both family and community engagement tools. These resources turn a book into a community experience so everyone can enjoy and share the story.”
Leton Harding, CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, stated, “We are thrilled to be able to sponsor Virginia Reads One Book this year, which builds on other financial literacy efforts that we have going in our community, including the upcoming Bank Day program that invites high school seniors into our offices for the day for a glimpse into our industry, and Teach Children to Save Day, where our bankers have hosted students and visited schools to count pennies with kindergarten students. We were drawn to this program by not only the financial literacy focus of the book, but also the idea of bringing families together.”
Other program sponsors include: Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, Virginia Council on Economic Education and Tackle Reading.
For the current list of participating schools in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Read to Them
Read to Them is a Richmond based non-profit promoting family literacy. A growing body of research shows that children who are read to learn to read more easily and become better readers. Literacy skills provide the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity. For more information visit www.readtothem.org.
About Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation
The Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) formed the VBA Education Foundation in 2007 with funding from the majority of VBA member banks. The Foundation’s mission is to improve personal financial literacy and economic education in all public and private schools in the Commonwealth. The Foundation recognizes the importance of economic education and financial literacy in Virginia and supports the banking industry as a key participant in these areas. For more information, visit www.vabankers.org/vba-education-foundation.
About Powell Valley National Bank
Powell Valley National Bank (PVNB) is a locally owned community bank headquartered in Jonesville, VA with full service offices throughout the region. The Bank, established in 1888, is the oldest bank in far Southwest Virginia, the 6th oldest bank in Virginia and the 6th oldest bank operating in Tennessee. PVNB offers a wide range of loan, deposit, and electronic banking and investment services. For more information, visit www.powellvalleybank.com.