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CSRA bank donates more than 300 books to nonprofit partner

Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life. There are plenty of studies to back up that assessment, but a love for reading starts much sooner than the teen years by having books to read in the first place.

Ora Parish, Tim Thomason, and Marissa Smith from Bank of America were delighted to support their community partner, RISE Augusta, with a book donation.

Bank of America held a book drive in March in recognition of National Reading Month. Through their branches in Aiken, North Augusta, Evans, and Augusta, they donated 339 books to RISE Augusta, just in time for the summer break when kids might not have access to books.

According to RISE, 36% of Richmond County children live in poverty. RISE Augusta believes in the potential of all children to rise above adversity, stay in school, and achieve in life.

Laurie Cook with the organization explains, “We are truly grateful for this out-pouring of support from Bank of America. With so many children not reading at a proficient level in our county and country, it is critical that all communities focus on improving literacy, especially those with high poverty populations.  Getting books into the hands of children to keep at home is an important first step.”

The bank has partnered with RISE Augusta for more than 10 years, including volunteering and financial donations. The bank is also a founding partner of The Hub where RISE Augusta now resides.

“We believe having access to books and literacy education is fundamental to providing young people the opportunity to think creatively and stimulate imagination,” said Ora Parish, president, Bank of America Greater Augusta / Aiken. “We are honored to support RISE Augusta in their continued work in unlocking successful futures in our community.”

This donation will ensure local children receive books to read over the summer in their homes.

RISE Augusta has several ways in which people can help.  First and most importantly, people need to realize that literacy is a big problem in our community and the nation – we cannot afford to ignore it!  Locally, adults can volunteer to tutor and/or read to students.  Families, businesses, and churches can host book drives.  Financial gifts of all sizes are always needed.  You can visit their website ( or call to offer your assistance (706)550-7716.

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