JACKSON COUNTY - In the financial world, it’s common for banks to be in stiff competition with each other, offering better rates and incentives to gain new customers.

 In Jackson County, two banks are joining together as a team on a project that will make a positive impact on the lives of children, ages 10 and under.

 Starting June 19, United Bank and BB&T will offer its second annual “Banking on Books” campaign. 

 In cooperation with Jackson County Read Aloud, each bank purchased 250 books to give to drive-through customers who have children under the age of 10 in the car with them.  One book will be given to each vehicle. The books will be available at United Bank in Ripley and BB&T in Ripley and Ravenswood. 

  Both Kerry Casto, Market President for United Bank and Nick Miller, BB&T Vice-President, are enthusiastic about this opportunity to encourage and support reading.

 “I serve on the Jackson County Read Aloud Board,” Casto said. “There’s no greater reward than to see a child excited about getting a book. With “Banking on Books”, our window tellers can see the kids’ faces light up when they’re handed a book. It’s a lot better than candy.”

 Miller agrees with the importance of this campaign.

 “Our banks definitely support reading and life-long learning,” he said. “We were concerned last year that doing this might be a burden to our tellers. But it was just the opposite. They loved it and are looking forward to it this year.”

 Jackson County Read Aloud has worked closely with the book selection. There will be a variety of books, geared mainly to elementary level, including board books and chapter books.

 According to Linda Dickirson, Jackson Read Aloud board member, the inspiration for the book give away came from the WV Read Aloud Conference.

 “We learned about Lewisburg’s Literacy Day and their bank giveaway.” she said. “When we brought the idea back with us, our board and these two banks enthusiastically embraced it. And it’s really taken off. We hope it expands to the other banks in the area as well. There’s no doubt they all support reading and education.’

 For information about “Banking on Books”, contact Casto at United Bank at 304-372-2121 or Miller at BB&T at 304-273-5062.