LOS ANGELES, Apr 19, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) - City National Bank, California's Premier Private and Business Bank(r), today announced that it has awarded more than $53,000 in literacy grants to 103 educators in California through its Reading Is The Way Up(r) program. The grants will support literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools.

The grant awards, for $500 each (or $1,500 in two cases where funding was provided for a team project), have been awarded to educators who plan to use the money to augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative and engaging, and will have a tangible affect on student achievement. In all, the 103 educators who were selected represent 60 school districts in 11 counties, and their estimations project to directly improve the literacy of about 10,000 students.

"We can't stress often enough how important it is for our future that children be provided with every opportunity to develop their reading and language skills," said Samantha Davies, senior vice president, Marketing, City National Bank. "Investing in California education is investing in the future, and I am particularly proud that City National's Reading Is The Way Up program has inspired our colleagues to volunteer their time in local schools, has donated more than 20,000 books to California elementary school libraries, has contributed $1.8 million since 2002, and today has helped provide funding for more than 100 creative and effective reading programs for students throughout California."

Grant applications were sent to every school district in the 11 California counties where City National Bank has offices and the online application drew responses from nearly 250 full-time teachers, librarians, administrators and school media specialists at K-12 schools. The recipients represent elementary, middle and high schools from San Diego to San Francisco.

For complete list of grant recipients visit www.readingisthewayup.org.

The City National Bank Reading Is The Way Up(r) 2007 Literacy Grant Recipients list is available at http://media.primezone.com/cache/7783/file/4049.pdf

Grants were requested for projects ranging from books with dramatic scripts (so they could be turned into a play) to a storytelling program where high school students read to elementary students to a puppetry program for English learners. Projects funded included:

- Computer software, hardware and training for middle school students at The Waverly School in Pasadena, Calif. to write and post literary blogs, which will be used by elementary teachers in their classrooms to encourage further reading and to foster analysis and discussion of books among young students;

- An Alameda County, Calif. program that provides simple books to low-literacy high school-age students at Juvenile Hall and encourages them to read them to their younger siblings, increasing literacy levels for the whole family;

- A literary magazine that provides Carlsbad, Calif. high school students with an extended opportunity to write creatively - poetry, short stories and essays - and to participate in the editing and publishing process;

- A large-print collection that will appeal to vision-impaired students at Foothill High School in Orange, Calif. that also will help reluctant and low-level readers enjoy reading more and improve their comprehension;

- A program in Banning, Calif. that recognizes the literacy growth of children from book-deprived homes by giving them a book to keep as a reward for their first 100 percent score on the Accelerated Reading test; and

- A reading program centered on popular media, which will help Oakland, Calif. boys improve literacy by introducing them to scripts and screenplays, and then exploring how these transform into the comics and movies they love.

This is the second time City National has awarded grants for literacy projects through the bank's Reading Is The Way Up program. In 2005, City National awarded $31,000 to Orange County educators in honor of the bank's 30th anniversary in Orange County.

About City National

City National Corporation (NYSE:CYN) is a financial services company with more than $15 billion in total assets. Its wholly owned subsidiary, City National Bank, is California's Premier Private and Business Bank(r). City National and its new wholly owned subsidiary, Business Bank of Nevada, provide banking, investment and trust services through 61 offices, including 15 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. The company and its nine investment affiliates manage or administer more than $48 billion in client assets, including $27.9 billion under direct management.

For more information about City National, visit the company's Website at cnb.com.

The City National Bank logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3143

About Reading Is The Way Up(r)

Seeking to better the education of California's future leaders, City National in April 2002 launched a multi-faceted initiative to restock the state's school library system. Since then, the bank has:

- Contributed $1.8 million to support education, including an initial contribution of $100,000 to buy about 5,000 books for public school libraries through the Governor's Book Fund and the California State Library Foundation.
- Donated more than 20,000 books to California school libraries through its annual holiday book drive.
- 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, and honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by The Wonder of Reading.

The bank also has created the Reading Is The Way Up Fund, a 501(c)(3) administered by the California Community Foundation, as a funding resource to purchase books for school libraries in California. For more information, visit www.readingisthewayup.org.

This news release was distributed by PrimeNewswire, www.primenewswire.com

SOURCE: City National Bank

City National Bank
Media Contact:
Daniel Minkoff
(213) 673-7631
daniel.minkoff@cnb.com