Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation and Banks Across Virginia Contribute Nearly $60,000 to Sponsor More than 12,100 Virginia Students and Staff for Virginia Reads One Book

Article Monica McDearmon Virginia Bankers Association

More than 12,100 Virginia students and their families at 29 elementary schools are reading the same book on the same schedule during the month of March thanks to nearly $60,000 of financial support from Virginia’s banking industry. The Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation (VBA), supported by Virginia banks, is one of several sponsors of this initiative, a program from Richmond-based Read to Them.

More than half of the total number of students participating in this year’s program are being financially sponsored by the Virginia banking industry. The following banks provided direct financial support to schools across the state:

  • American National Bank & Trust Company
  • Bank of Botetourt
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • C&F Bank
  • Carter Bank & Trust
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • Farmers Bank
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First Community Bank
  • First National Bank
  • National Capital Bank
  • Primis Bank
  • The Bank of Clarke County Foundation
  • Touchstone Bank
  • TowneBank
  • Village Bank

Virginia Reads One Book kicks off on March 7, 2022. During this two-week program, elementary students across Virginia will be involved in school and community events. “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 Read to Them Executive Director Christa Donohue. “With the support of the VBA and banks across Virginia, the schools receive 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.”

Each student will receive a copy of the same book, Dog Days by Karen English. “Our statewide reading schedule will take about 15 minutes each night,” says Donohue, “putting the entire community literally on the same page. Their reading will be augmented with classroom activities, trivia contests, prizes and fun opportunities for family engagement.” 

Virginia Bankers Association President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst stated, “the VBA and banks across Virginia are thrilled to be able to sponsor Virginia Reads One Book for the fifth year.  This program builds on other financial literacy efforts that banks participate with in their communities, including Teach Children to Save, Get Smart About Credit and the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program.  We continue to be drawn to this program by not only the financial literacy focus of the book, but also the idea of bringing families together.”

Virginia schools and school systems supported by the VBA Education Foundation and Virginia banks:

  • Albert Harris Elementary School, Martinsville City
  • Boyce Elementary School, Clarke County
  • Buckingham County Elementary School, Buckingham County
  • Camelot Elementary School, Chesapeake City
  • C.E. Curtis Elementary School, Chesterfield County
  • Chalkley Elementary School, Chesterfield County
  • Dearington Elementary School, Lynchburg City
  • DG Cooley Elementary School, Clarke County
  • Dinwiddie Elementary School, Dinwiddie County
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, Arlington County
  • Eagle Rock Elementary School, Botetourt County
  • Falling Creek Elementary School, Chesterfield County
  • Featherstone Elementary School, Woodbridge County
  • Forest Hills Elementary School, Danville City
  • Ginter Park Elementary School, Richmond City
  • Heritage Elementary School, Lynchburg City
  • Holladay Elementary School, Henrico County
  • Lakeside Elementary School, Henrico County
  • Maybeury Elementary School, Henrico County
  • Mountain View Elementary School, Roanoke County
  • Norge Elementary School, Williamsburg-James City County
  • Patrick Henry Elementary School, Martinsville City
  • Salem Church Elementary School, Chesterfield County
  • Southside Elementary School, Dinwiddie County
  • Southwestern Elementary School, Chesapeake City
  • Sunnyside Elementary School, Dinwiddie County
  • Surry Elementary School, Surry County
  • Weyanoke Elementary School, Fairfax County
  • Woodville Elementary School, Richmond City

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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 for the Walter Ayers Fund for Financial Education. 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

About Read to Them

Read to Them is a Richmond based non-profit promoting family literacy, with programs that have reached over 2 million families in over 3000 schools in all 50 states. When children become successful readers at an early age, academic success follows —increasing high school graduation rates and building the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity. For more information, visit