View All Posts

Literacy is Our Focus for 2020


Little girl smiling while reading a book

Updated March 27, 2020

Literacy will be the theme for many of the Bank’s community service activities in 2020, according to Chief Credit Officer Amy Lou Blunt.

“We will be engaging in a number of community service projects in support of different forms of literacy, including financial literacy,” explained Amy who heads up the Bank’s Culture Club, a group of high-energy, community-minded staff members who organize the Bank’s service activities and events.

Kids, Books and Lunch Bags

The first program of the year was in support of Valley of the Sun United Way’s BOOK-IN-A-BAG program, says Amy.  “We began with a book drive, asking employees and clients to donate books for children from kindergarten to 3rd grade. The drive was a HUGE success and we collected over 250 new and gently used books!”

Thanks to all those who contributed to making the drive a success. We sincerely appreciate all the employees, board members and customers who donated to the drive.

Next, we will bring the books to life by decorating a paper lunch bag for each book with favorite characters, words of inspiration, or something that supports the theme of the book. Due to the safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 situation, the decorating portion of the drive has been postponed.

Getting Kids Reading Ready

Next, the Bank is participating in the United Way’s virtual tutoring program, Vello. Vello is an innovative, one-on-one tutoring program that will match tutor teams with local classrooms for guided reading support.

The Bank’s volunteers will tutor students in reading through a safe and secure digital setting. Together, students and their “tutors” will read e-books using screen sharing and audio. The Bank’s efforts will benefit three elementary schools in a local Phoenix School District.

Financial Literacy

On the financial literacy front, RBAZ plans to participate in an entrepreneurship program to help active duty service members and military veterans prepare for the business world. The program will provide instruction and information on financial literacy and business fundamentals such as how to develop a business plan and prepare for financing.

“We’re very excited to participate in all these worthwhile programs in our community,” says Amy. “I’m proud of our team for their willingness to give their time and expertise to help others. Community service is one of our core values, but everyone understands you can’t just say it … you have to live it.”