HONOLULU - Central Pacific Bank is collecting school supplies and monetary donations throughout July at its 34 branches statewide as part of the Ready to Learn program.
Administered by Helping Hands Hawaii, Ready to Learn provides more than 10,000 low-income Hawaii children each year with new classroom supplies at the start of the school year.
This year, in conjunction with the school supply drive, children ages 11 and under are invited to enter CPB's Essay Contest for a chance to win an iPad mini.
Now through July 31, submit an essay in 250 words or less answering this question: "Why is school important to you?"
One winner will be selected in each of the following age groups: ages six and below, ages 7-8, and ages 9-11.
Entry forms and complete rules are available at all CPB branches and at www.centralpacificbank.com.
The school supplies and monetary donations collected at all Central Pacific Bank branches will remain on the respective islands.
For more information, call (808) 544-0500 or 1-800-342-8422, or visit www.centralpacificbank.com.
"Starting the new school year without the basic supplies can severely impact a child's self-esteem and openness to learning," said John C. Dean, president and CEO of Central Pacific Bank.
"We are proud to partner with Helping Hands Hawaii for a fifth consecutive year to make a difference for the less fortunate children in Hawaii who cannot afford to buy their own school supplies."
All school supply donations are welcome, including crayons, scissors, notebooks, portfolios, folder paper, erasers, No. 2 pencils, glue, calculators, rulers, composition books and backpacks. Or, a small monetary donation of just $10 will purchase one backpack filled with all the items needed to prepare a student for the new school year.
"We are excited and very fortunate that Central Pacific Bank is partnering with us again to help raise funds and collect donations for our annual Ready to Learn school supplies campaign," said Jan Harada, president and CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii.
"The energy Central Pacific Bank's employees bring to the table each year is a blessing and reflects a true desire to help low-income and homeless children."
Ready to Learn, an important part of Helping Hands Hawaii since 1999, is a recognized program by the state Department of Education.
As part of the program, Helping Hands Hawaii works with government agencies, social service agencies and community organizations to distribute the donated school supplies to students in kindergarten through high school statewide.