Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation and Banks Across Virginia Contribute Nearly $90,000 to Sponsor More than 13,700 Virginia Students and Staff for Virginia Reads One Book

Article Monica McDearmon Virginia Bankers Association

More than 13,700 Virginia students and their families are reading the same book on the same schedule during the month of March thanks to nearly $90,000 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.

Nearly 70% of the total number of students participating in this year’s program are doing so through Virginia banking industry sponsorship. The following banks provided direct financial support to schools across the state:

  • American National Bank & Trust Company
  • Atlantic Union Bank
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • C&F Bank
  • Carter Bank & Trust
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First Community Bank
  • First National Bank
  • National Capital Bank
  • Powell Valley National Bank
  • Primis Bank
  • Skyline National Bank
  • The Bank of Marion
  • Touchstone Bank
  • TowneBank
  • United Bank
  • Village Bank

Virginia Reads One Book kicks off on March 6, 2023. 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, J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard. “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 sixth 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 not only by 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:

  • Buckingham County Elementary School, Buckingham
  • Camelot Elementary School, Chesapeake
  • Carrollton Elementary School, Isle of Wight
  • Chalkley Elementary School, Chesterfield
  • Chimborazo Elementary School, Richmond
  • Dinwiddie Elementary School, Dinwiddie
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, Arlington
  • E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, Warren County
  • Floyd County Public Elementary Schools
  • Forest Hills Elementary School, Danville
  • Ginter Park Elementary School, Richmond
  • Heritage Elementary School, Lynchburg
  • Holladay Elementary School, Henrico
  • Kentuck Elementary School, Pittsylvania County
  • Lakeside Elementary School, Henrico
  • Mathews Elementary School, Mathews
  • Maybeury Elementary School, Henrico
  • Miles J. Jones Elementary School, Richmond
  • Mountain View Elementary School, Roanoke
  • Norge Elementary School, Williamsburg-James City County
  • Patrick Henry Elementary School, Martinsville
  • Salem Church Elementary School, Chesterfield
  • Southampton Elementary School, Richmond
  • Southwestern Elementary School, Chesapeake
  • Sugar Grove Elementary School, Smyth
  • Sunnyside Elementary School, Dinwiddie
  • Surry Elementary School, Surry
  • Weyanoke Elementary School, Fairfax
  • Wise Primary School, Wise County
  • Woodville Elementary School, Richmond

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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