Virginia Banking Industry Unites Home and School for More than 14,100 Students and Staff this Month

Article Monica McDearmon Virginia Bankers Association

VAROB 2021 Bank Sponsors

More than 14,100 Virginia students and their families are reading the same book on the same schedule during the month of March thanks to more than $61,000 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.

The following banks provided direct financial support to schools across the state:

  • American National Bank & Trust Company
  • Bank of Botetourt
  • Bank of Clarke County
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First National Bank
  • Old Point National Bank
  • The Fauquier Bank
  • TowneBank

Virginia Reads One Book kicks off on March 1, 2021. During this three-week program, elementary students across Virginia will be involved in school and community events virtually. “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, The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. Hampton City Schools will be reading from the Lola Levine series. “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 virtual 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 fourth 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 were drawn by not only the financial literacy focus of the book, but also the idea of bringing families together through this program.”

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

  • Boyce Elementary School, Clarke County
  • Buchanan Elementary School, Botetourt County
  • Buckingham County Elementary School, Buckingham County
  • Camelot Elementary School, Chesapeake City
  • Carrsville Elementary School, Isle of Wight County
  • Dale City Elementary School, Prince William County
  • DG Cooley Elementary School, Clarke County
  • Featherstone Elementary School, Prince William County
  • Forest Hills Elementary School, Danville City
  • G.H. Reid Elementary School, Richmond City
  • Ginter Park Elementary School, Richmond City
  • Greenfield Elementary School, Botetourt County
  • Hampton City Schools
  • Heritage Elementary School, Lynchburg City
  • Holladay Elementary School, Henrico County
  • Kentuck Elementary School, Pittsylvania County
  • Morningside Elementary School, Roanoke City
  • Norge Elementary School, Williamsburg-James City County
  • Occoquan Elementary School, Prince William County
  • Salem Church Elementary School, Chesterfield County


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