LOS ANGELES, Apr 2, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Joins First Lady, California Library Officials to Make Awards to 20 Los Angeles Area Schools

City National Bank Chairman and CEO Russell Goldsmith and California's First Lady Sharon Davis discuss the importance of reading with Los Angeles-area schoolchildren. Click on the photo to enlarge.

City National Bank today launched "Reading Is The Way Up," a multi-faceted, statewide literacy initiative designed to address the plight of California public school libraries.

At an event this morning to kick off the program, City National Chairman and CEORussell Goldsmith presented a check for $100,000 to First Lady Sharon Davis. Themoney is expected to add about 5,000 books to public school libraries through aprogram set up by the Governor's Book Fund and the California State LibraryFoundation.

"Even in this age of technology, books are still the foundation for learning,"said Goldsmith. "California's public school libraries are in better shape todaythan they were several years ago, thanks largely to the Governor's Book Fund,but there's still plenty of work to do. Our public school libraries still don'thave enough books, and too many kids don't have access to books that are currentand compelling. City National is committed to California and to premierperformance. We're pleased to take the corporate lead in this importantpublic/private partnership, which will truly help every child in Californiareach his or her full potential."

Goldsmith joined Davis and California State Librarian Kevin Starr to award$5,000 grants to school libraries at 20 Los Angeles area schools (list ofschools below). Students, librarians and principals of the schools were on handto receive the awards, as well as books provided by Scholastic Publishing.

In addition to its initial $100,000 contribution, City National Bank plans toraise awareness of the current state of California public school libraries andto encourage donation of funds and books through its program, "Reading Is TheWay Up." The initiative includes:

- Involving some of City National's 2,200 California colleagues in volunteering their time for reading in schools;

- Organizing book drives in the California communities in which it operates;

- Working with private donors to raise funds for more books; and

- Urging local, state and federal lawmakers and school administrators to earmark more money for public school libraries.

"We are so pleased that Russell Goldsmith and City National Bank have steppedforward to lead this critical effort that is so important to the state's futureand to our next generation of Californians," said Sharon Davis. "Reading is thegateway skill, and school libraries are on the front lines."

Recent research shows that the number of books in a school library is directlyrelated to how well children perform on literacy tests. Two studies by theLibrary Service Center of the Colorado State Library found that better schoollibraries improved scores on standardized achievement tests by 10 to 15 percentover peers in library-impoverished schools, regardless of social and economicfactors.

Historically, California school libraries have not received specific statefunding; school districts allocated funds as they deemed appropriate. With thepassage of Proposition 13 in 1978, funds for libraries dried up as schooldistricts struggled to cover basic costs. By 1995, badly neglected schoollibraries averaged 11 books per student - compared with a nationalrecommendation of 16 to 25 books per student. The average copyright date for anon-fiction book was 1972.

For the past four budget-surplus years, school libraries have received specificfunding of $158 million per year and have raised the number of books to 11.9 perstudent and the average copyright date to 1982. With a budget shortfall loomingthis year, future funding is uncertain.

About City National

On December 31, 2001, City National Corporation had assets of $10.2 billion. Thecompany is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CYN." Itswholly owned subsidiary, City National Bank, is the second largest independentbank headquartered in California. As California's Premier Private and BusinessBank(R), City National delivers banking, trust and investment services through53 offices in 11 counties throughout Southern California and the San FranciscoBay Area.

For more information about City National, visit the company's Web site atwww.cnb.com.

  GOVERNOR'S BOOK FUND SCHOOL LIBRARY ENRICHMENT GRANTS Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties-------------------------------------- -------------- ---------------- School Name City County-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Albert Monroe Middle School Inglewood Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Allen Young School Norwalk Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Almondale Middle School Littlerock Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Bret Harte Prep. Middle School Los Angeles Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Central Continuation High School Barstow San Bernardino-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Constellation Community Middle School Long Beach Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------F.D. Roosevelt Elementary Lawndale Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Foothill Technology High School Ventura Ventura-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Halldale Avenue Elementary Torrance Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Hawthorne High School Hawthorne Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Lincoln Elementary School Lynwood Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Markham Middle School Los Angeles Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Mar Vista Elementary School Oxnard Ventura-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Montara Avenue Elementary School and Magnet Center South Gate Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Pacific High School Ventura Ventura-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Rio Del Norte Elementary School Oxnard Ventura-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Rio Rosales Elementary School Oxnard Ventura-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Sixth Street Prep. School Victorville San Bernardino-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Sutter Elementary School Long Beach Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------Williams Elementary School Hawthorne Los Angeles-------------------------------------- -------------- ----------------

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CONTACT: City National Bank, Los Angeles Linda Mueller, 213/833-4719 linda.mueller@cnb.com or Casey Sayre & Williams Inc., Santa Monica, Calif. Barbara Sayre Casey, 310/458-1224 bcasey@caseysayre.comURL: http://www.businesswire.comToday's News On The Net - Business Wire's full file on the Internetwith Hyperlinks to your home page.

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