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Customers Bank Celebrates Five Years Combating Summer Slide through the Books for Bikes Program


Customers Bank Awards More Than 170 Local Children

with New Bikes and Helmets

WEST READING, PA. (August 16, 2021) – The last year and a half has been extremely challenging and disruptive for many students as most schools transitioned to remote learning environments. This places a higher emphasis on the importance of reinforcing and building literacy proficiency to avoid students struggling in the coming school year. To help motivate students and recognize their commitment to developing their literacy proficiency, Customers Bank proudly conducted the Books for Bikes program for the fifth consecutive year and awarded more than 170 local students with brand-new bikes and helmets.

The United Way of Berks County’s Ready.Set.READ! program, a community-wide initiative that brings together schools, businesses, organizations and individuals to improve early grade reading success, first introduced the Books for Bikes program to kids residing in Reading’s Oakbrook neighborhood as an incentive to battle summer slide. That program has evolved to now include community organizations and institutions, including YMCA of Reading and Berks County and Alvernia University, which conduct summer literacy programs in association with United Way of Berks County’s efforts.

The Books for Bikes program was the innovation of Dick Ehst, who retired as Customers Bank’s president and chief executive officer earlier this year. Books for Bikes has been an important community initiative to motivate children to continue developing their literacy skills during the summer by rewarding them for their participation, dedication and literacy accomplishments during the summer months with new bikes and helmets. Since the program’s inception in 2016, participation has continued to increase every year.

“As a leading super-community bank, we were founded on the principle of creating initiatives that strengthen businesses in the region and the broader community. That begins with assisting the educational development of our future business leaders and extends to supporting vital community programs including affordable housing, economic development and much more,” stated Sam Sidhu, Customers Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

This year’s Books for Bikes program incentivized students to participate in the literacy programs offered by Alvernia University, United Way of Berks County and YMCA of Reading and Berks County. Classes were held throughout the summer at Millmont and Tyson Schoener Elementary Schools, Oakbrook Community Health Center and YMCA of Reading and Berks County.

Approximately 90 new bikes and helmets were awarded to students who participated in Alvernia University’s program at Millmont Elementary School on July 28th and Tyson Schoener Elementary School on August 3rd, respectively. More than 80 students that participated in the Books for Bikes programs sponsored by the United Way and YMCA will receive their bikes at noon on August 18th and August 27th, respectively.

To learn more about Customers Bank, visit www.customersbank.com. 

About Customers Bank

Customers Bank, a subsidiary of Customers Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: CUBI) a bank holding company, is a full-service super-community bank with assets of approximately $19.6 billion at June 30, 2021. A member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Customers Bank is an equal opportunity lender that provides a range of banking and lending services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, individuals, and families. Services and products are available wherever permitted by law through digital-first apps, online portals, and a network of offices and branches. Additional information can be found on the company’s website, www.customersbank.com.