LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - City National Bank (NYSE:CYN) today announced that it has awarded 84 Reading Is The Way Up(r) grants totaling more than $60,000 to support literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools in California, New York and Nevada.

(For a list of all grants visit www.readingisthewayup.org .)

Reading Is The Way Up(r) is the award-winning literacy initiative through which City National has donated more than 40,000 books to elementary school libraries in Nevada and California and awarded 385 literacy grants to enhance literacy.

The grants, ranging from $500 to $1,500 each, will help augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative and engaging, and that would have a tangible affect on student achievement. The winning programs are expected to directly improve the literacy of more than 10,000 students.

A total of 84 educators who received the grants were selected from among the more than 200 full-time teachers, librarians, administrators and school media specialists in California, New York and Nevada who submitted an online application. Applications were distributed to every school district in the 11 California counties where City National Bank maintains offices. They include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura counties.

Awards include:

-- California - Grants went to 49 schools for a total of $36,750.
-- Nevada - Grants went to 29 schools for a total of $16,500.
-- New York - Grants went to 6 schools for a total of $7,000.

Projects funded included:

-- St. Michael Elementary School in South Central received $1,500 to teacher Catherine Marin for her program, "Learning to Read for Enjoyment," that will allow the school to purchase books for their library. They last purchased books in 2004. (For a picture of the donation event see: http://www.cnb.com/images/photos/pr20090413.jpg )

-- Piru Elementary School was selected for a grant to continue its "It's Thursday ... Turn off the TV and Read," program. The school started the program last year by designating Thursday as a full day and night dedicated to reading. In its first year of a night without television, the average accelerated reading score almost doubled from the previous year.

-- In New York, the bank funded "Check Out American History," a program at Midtown West (P.S. 212) in Manhattan to motivate students to explore America's Revolutionary War period. The program will utilize DVDs and books, including the acclaimed PBS series, Liberty's Kids.

-- Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter high school in Lincoln Heights, received $500 to start a student newspaper.

About Reading Is The Way Up(r)

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(r) initiative to restock the state's school library system. The program was expanded into Nevada following the 2007 completion of City National's merger with Business Bank of Nevada.

To date, the bank has:

-- Donated more than 40,000 books to Nevada, New York and California school libraries.
-- 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 was 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 .

About City National

City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation (NYSE:CYN). It is backed by $16.5 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 62 offices, including 15 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. The company and its eight majority-owned investment affiliates manage or administer $47.5 billion in client investment assets, including nearly $31 billion under direct management.

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

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

CONTACT: City National Bank
Media Contact:
Debora Vrana
213.673.7631
Debora.vrana@cnb.com