Partnership to aid early reading, financial literacy

Published 8:28 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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The Blackwater Regional Library and Bronco Federal Credit Union recently announced a partnership to encourage the habit of reading and financial literacy from an early age. 

A joint news release noted that the goal of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is to encourage a love for reading young. As an added bonus when children reach this accomplishment, they now can open a courtesy Buzz Club account at Bronco Federal Credit Union with a deposit of $25 donated by the credit union. 

“The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten concept is simple but has priceless rewards,” officials said.

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Ben Neal, library director said, “Blackwater Regional Library is thrilled for the opportunity to  partner with Bronco Federal Credit Union on this exciting project! The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a great way to encourage early literacy in our community, and thanks to this partnership, now it will also be a way to foster early financial literacy in our community.” 

Bronco Federal Credit Union CEO Brian Hedgepeth shared in the excitement of the partnership, stating, “We hope this incentive will not only encourage more books to be read at an early age but also instill great saving habits through the Buzz Club and create lifelong members of the credit union.” 

To participate in this program with Blackwater Regional Library, children can visit any of its locations to get their first reading log. Once they finish that first log, turn it in and get the next. They should continue until they’ve reached 1,000; then they should bring in their voucher to Bronco Federal Credit Union to open their courtesy Buzz Club account and receive a $25 deposit. Find more information about the program at 

Blackwater Regional Library’s mission is to provide a safe and attractive space that promotes  creativity, literacy, community enrichment and development and lifelong learning to all segments of its service area through programming and outreach. Blackwater Regional Library serves the city of Franklin and the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton Surry and Sussex. For more information on BRL, visit its website at

Bronco Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative that was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Franklin. Bronco Federal Credit Union serves the Hampton Roads community and employs 53 team members, both in Franklin and Suffolk. 

“Providing quality financial services to more than 18,000 members throughout three locations will always be the No. 1 priority,” BFCU officials said.

For more information on BFCU, visit its website at