Program Has Awarded Over $1.5 Million Since Its Inception

LOS ANGELES – City National Bank today announced that it has awarded nearly 60 Reading is The way up® literacy grants totaling more than $53,000 to support literacy-based projects as well as financial literacy to elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada, New York and Georgia.

(For a list of all grant recipients, go to

Reading is The way up is the award-winning non-profit literacy program through which City National has donated more than 600,000 books to elementary school libraries in California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia, and awarded nearly 1,300 teacher grants to enhance literacy totaling over $1.5 million since the program’s inception in 2005.

The grants range from $500 to $1,000 and will help augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative and engaging, and that would have a tangible effect on student achievement. The winning programs are expected to directly improve literacy to more than 10,000 students in over 50 schools and non-profit organizations throughout California, Nevada, New York and Georgia.

The educators receiving literacy grants were selected from among the many full-time teachers, librarians, administrators and school media specialists who submitted an online application.  The one-page application was available to educators in every school district throughout the bank’s footprint across the country.

“Our grant selection committee was very impressed with this year’s submissions and the types of literacy based projects that were requesting financial support,” said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and manager of Reading is The way up for City National.  “Having expanded our literacy grant program in the last several years to include both math and science along with English provides greater diversity in the types of educational projects we’re now judging.  While this has out-stripped our financial resources, we are excited to see more educators applying for these grants.”

Some of this year’s grants funded various literacy programs such as ‘Leveled Reading and Mindfulness at the Madison Library’ at a school in California; ‘Spilled Ink’ at a school in Nevada, ‘Project-based Learning in Social Studies’ at a school in New York City; and ‘Meet me in the Middle’ at a school in Georgia.

About Reading is The way up®

Originally established to help improve the education of California’s future leaders, City National in April 2002 launched the multi-faceted Reading is The way up initiative to restock the state’s school library system. The program has since been expanded to include all areas where the bank has a presence.  Since its inception, the award-winning program has:
Donated more than 600,000 books to California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia school libraries.
Awarded over $1.5 million to teachers at elementary, middle and high schools for creative literacy projects.
Received the 2005 President’s Volunteer Service Award, the 2005 Corporate Philanthropy Award from the Los Angeles Public Library, the 2006 Corporate Award from the Getty House Foundation, the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Corporate Citizen Award, and honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by the Wonder of Reading.
Received the 2013 Innovations Reading Prize Award presented by the National Book Foundation.
Received the 2013 Outstanding Corporation of the Year Award presented by the Clark County School District-Community Partnership Program in Las Vegas, NV.
Received the 2013 Angel Light Foundation Award for excellence in community service and educational outreach presented by the Angel Light Academy in Orange County, CA.
The Reading is the Way Up Fund is a 501(c)(3) administered by the California Community Foundation.  For more information, visit

About City National

With $48.7 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 72 offices, including 19 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $64.9 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries.

For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at