LOS ANGELES – City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy and financially-based literacy projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in five states.  Administered through City National’s award-winning Reading is The way up® literacy program, this year’s program will award up to $100,000 in both literacy and financial literacy grants.  This is the first year since the bank launched its literacy grant program in 2004 that it has offered the financial literacy component.

“The financial literacy enhancement to this year’s grant program was a natural evolution given our Dollars + Sense financial literacy program,” said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National.  “Given the environment we live in today the need to teach financial literacy in our schools is just as important as reading and writing.  We hope this new feature to the program will inspire teachers to also focus on financial literacy in the classroom.”

This is the ninth consecutive year that City National has been offering literacy grants to educators in its service area, which includes California, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Georgia.  Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visitingwww.readingisthewayup.org.

Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura.  The counties in Nevada include Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe, while the New York City area includes New York County.  Educators in Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee are also eligible to apply.

Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement.  Awards can also be used for books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer software or hardware, or in other ways so long as the recipient shows that the project for which funds are sought will support literacy and financial literacy.

Applicants from the same school may apply individually or as part of a team.  Each team may receive up to $1,500.  Over the past eight years the bank has awarded over $600,000 in literacy grants.

Past grants have been used for everything from literacy computer programs to art/reading projects to field trips. In one case, an elementary school used the funds to make 20 Galileo telescopes to facilitate the use of reading, writing, math, engineering and science skills. In another, funds were used to create a Reading Fluency and Comprehension program through the use of technology.

“Literacy is one of the key building blocks to educating our children, and with all of the cutbacks in state education budgets the need for this type of grant program is paramount for teachers today,” Rodriguez said.  “It’s up to us as adults to make sure our children receive the best education they can, which means caring people and companies have to step forward and invest in the future of our communities and country.”

City National’s Reading is The way up literacy program, which began in 2002, will award the grants. Applications will be accepted beginning October 21 and running through December 6, 2013, and awardees will be notified early next year. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2014.

For more information about the Reading is The way up Literacy Grants Program, visit www.readingisthewayup.org or send an e-mail torwu@cnb.com.

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.

To date, the bank has:

  • Donated more than 170,000 books to California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia school libraries.
  • Awarded over $600,000 to teachers in 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, and honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by The Wonder of Reading, and the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Corporate Citizen Award.
  • Recognized by the Los Angeles City Council in June 2009 for efforts to promote literacy in the city of Los Angeles.
  • Received the 2013 Above and Beyond Award for Excellence in Community Service presented by the Angel Light Academy’s Leadership Training Institute.
  • Received the 2013 Innovations Reading Prize Award presented by the National Book Foundation.

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 or facebook.com/readingisthewayup.


City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation (NYSE: CYN). It is backed by $27.4 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 77 offices, including 16 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville and Atlanta. The company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $59.1 billion in client investment assets, including $40.6 billion under direct management.

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