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Read Alliance in New York City awarded $25,000 by Customers Bank

Funding supports Read Alliance’s literacy programs for kindergarten through second grade students and career readiness for teen tutors throughout all boroughs in New York City

Wyomissing, PA (March 13, 2019) – Customers Bank – a leading super-community bank with operations in Pennsylvania, D.C., Illinois, New Jersey, New York and New England – announced today it awarded a $25,000 grant to Read Alliance on March 12 at the Juan Ponce de Leon Elementary School in Bronx, New York.

To celebrate this grant, a special reception was held at the school that included Superintendent of DOE District 7 Rafael Alvarez, Principal Eliamaria Soto, representatives from Read Alliance and Customers Bank, as well as students and teen leaders.

The grant from Customers Bank will support Read Alliance’s dual impact programming: early literacy intervention for kindergarten through second grade students and meaningful paid employment opportunities for high school students.

“As a community bank, our goal is to not just provide loans to businesses and families, but to also support the crucial community organizations that provided needed resources and services in our neighborhoods,” said Richard Ehst, president and chief operating officer for Customers Bank. “Supporting education focused community organizations has always been a priority at Customers Bank. Read Alliance’s programs have a direct impact on the future of both the young students and the teen tutors. We are very proud to support this organization and the important programs it provides.”

Read Alliance, a community-based organization in New York, provides individualized early literacy intervention to public school students in kindergarten through 2nd grade through its unique near-peer tutoring model. The organization employs high school students from the same communities to tutor young students after school during the school year and in summer reading programs to stop summer slide.

Read Alliance’s educational programs provide 45 sessions of one-on-one tutoring in foundational reading skills, including reading aloud to build students’ confidence with reading. The intervention is provided by trained high school students, called Teen Leaders, who gain valuable professional development and career readiness skills through this paid employment opportunity.

“We are honored and excited to receive this award from Customers Bank, which provides critical support for our early literacy programs for young children while simultaneously offering economic empowerment opportunities for teens,” stated Danielle Guindo, executive director of Read Alliance. “Early literacy and youth leadership are at the core of who we are, and we are grateful to partner with Customers Bank to advance our mission.”

About Customers Bank

Customers Bank is a super-community bank with $9.8 billion in assets as of December 31, 2018, offering commercial and consumer banking services along the I-95 corridor from Washington, DC to Boston; and in Chicago. Commercial products include cash management; commercial and industrial loans; small business loans; SBA government-guaranteed loans; commercial and multi-family real estate loans; and financing for leasing businesses and residential developers.

Customers Bank provides consumer banking services including savings, checking, and money market accounts; certificates of deposit; residential mortgages; and consumer loans. Additional consumer products are marketed by BankMobile, BankMobile Vibe, and Ascent.

Customers Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Customers Bank is an equal opportunity lender. Customers Bank takes pride in delivering extremely high levels of customer service while charging comparatively very low fees; service that makes our clients say, ''Wow.''

Commercial clients enjoy Single Point of Contact service with one team to handle all banking needs. Some retail bank clients are afforded Concierge Banking® Services that brings banking to them, when and where they need it. Customers Bank is a subsidiary of Customers Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company with its headquarters located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The voting common shares of Customers Bancorp, Inc. are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CUBI.

About Read Alliance

Read Alliance utilizes the power of teen leadership to improve the educational trajectory of underserved early elementary students through one-to-one tutoring in foundational reading skills. While early literacy remains at the core of our mission, our unique model also employs teens to tutor their younger peers, tackling a secondary challenge of youth unemployment, particularly among low-income, young people of color.

READ students receive the one-to-one support in foundational reading skills they require to catch up to their peers, and gain the confidence to thrive academically in their classrooms. In just 45 sessions, participants gain a full year’s growth in reading.

READ Teen Leaders gain meaningful after school and summer employment, become economically empowered, gain college focus, learn important professional skills, and serve as role models for their younger counterparts. In the past three years, Read Alliance has employed nearly 3,000 young people as teen leaders, most of whom live in marginalized and low-income communities, who earned more than $1.2 million in total.

Customers Bank
1015 Penn Avenue
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Richard Ehst
President & COO

David W. Patti
Director of Communications & Marketing