First Bancorp

08/24/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/24/2022 06:37


SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., Aug. 24, 2022/PRNewswire/ -- As a part of its 2022 Project Launch initiative, First Bank announces the creation of the First Bank Book Club. Through the First Bank Book Club, public elementary and middle schools throughout North and South Carolina will receive visits from award-winning children's authors for a day of fun, discussion, and literacy.

In addition to time with the authors, students from the hosting grade level at each school will receive a copy of the book discussed, with additional copies to be donated to the school's library.

First Bank CEO & President, Mike Mayer, said of the initiative, "At First Bank, we believe Education benefits everyone. Concurrently, we believe reading is one of the best ways to get young students engaged in their education. That's why we are creating the First Bank Book Club to provide students in the communities we serve with the opportunity to become avid readers. We believe the more children read, the more they experience a world outside of their own, think more creatively and are more excited about learning."

The First Bank Book Club was built in partnership with the nonprofit Authors in Moore Schools (AIMS) of Southern Pines (NC). Authors in Moore Schools was established in 2015 with the mission to promote the love of reading by bringing students, parents, schools, communities, and authors together through great books. In the past 7 years, AIMS has hosted events with more than 100 authors in 40 schools and provided 19,000 free copies of those authors' books to students in Southeastern North Carolina. Authors include the best of the best in children's literature including Newbery, Caldecott and National Book Award Honor winners, Battle of the Books Authors and New York Times bestsellers. The donated books to the students and schools will be provided through The Country Bookshop, also of Southern Pines.

Angie Tally, Program Director of AIMS and Children's Department Manager of The Country Bookshop said of the program and partnership, "Community support has long been part of AIMS core with a number of local businesses, individuals, book clubs, and foundations providing funds for book purchases. Healthy communities know that Readers are Leaders, and we are thrilled to be partnering with First Bank Book Club in the Fall of 2022. AIMS and First Bank Book Club will join forces to extend the reach of the program to the towns throughout all of NC and SC where First Bank has a presence. Authors in Moore Schools looks forward to hosting more authors to more schools in more places and placing more amazing autographed books in the hands of more children in 2022 and beyond." AIMS and First Bank are working to finalize the schedule for the 2022-23 school year, but so far nearly a dozen authors have signed on to visit almost 30 schools, with more being added each week. These include writers like Terry Crews, Dhonielle Clayton, Kelly Yang, Stacy Macnaulty, and more.

QDS' Lionheart Charities Joins as Book Club Members

Joining First Bank in the inaugural year of the First Bank Book Club is Quality Data Systems (QDS, Inc.) through its nonprofit, the Lionheart Charities. QDS is a long-time trusted vendor partner of First Bank's, and through Lionheart, they are a proven supporter of those who need it most in their communities. Their $10,000 donation will allow AIMS and First Bank to schedule more author visits and to get more books in the hands of students. "QDS, through Lionheart Charities, is proud to partner with our banking partner First Bank to invest in our local communities. We have a passion for children and learning and we are proud to be able to make this $10,000 donation to the Book Club to help learning come alive for children in the Carolinas" said Sean Farrell, CEO of QDS, Inc.

Although born out of Project Launch, which sees First Bank committing $500,000 in support of education throughout the Carolinas in 2022, First Bank hopes the First Bank Book Club will be an ongoing effort in years to come.

First Bank CEO Mike Mayer continued, "We hope to put books in the hands of hundreds of children in the Carolinas and get them excited by talking to and meeting these authors. And who knows, maybe some of these students will one day write a book of their own."

To learn more about the First Bank Book Club, visit

About us:

First Bank is the banking subsidiary of First Bancorp and is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with total assets of approximately $10.6 billion. As a state-chartered community bank, First Bank operates 110 bank branches in North Carolina and South Carolina. Since 1935, First Bank has taken a tailored approach to banking, combining best-in-class financial solutions, helpful local expertise, and technology to manage a home or business. First Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "FBNC." Visit our website at Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

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