updated 10/14/2010 3:45:12 AM ET 2010-10-14T07:45:12

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.

Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting www.readingisthewayup.org/literacy.asp . 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 Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.

Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. 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 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.

City National's Reading is The way up® literacy program will award the grants. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2010, and awardees will be notified early next year. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2011.

"We are excited to kick off our sixth year of offering teachers the opportunity to apply for funding that would help them develop more literacy projects in their classrooms," said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National. "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."

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 five years the bank has awarded 450 literacy grants totaling $325,000.

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 sight word game called 'Quick as a Snap' to enhance reading skills with low achieving reading students.

For more information about the Reading is The way up Literacy Grants Program, visit www.readingisthewayup.org or send an e-mail to rwu@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 was later expanded to Nevada and New York.

To date, the bank has:

  • Contributed over $2 million to support education, including an initial contribution of $100,000 to buy about 5,000 books for public school libraries through the California Governor's Book Fund and the California State Library Foundation.
  • Donated more than 55,000 books to Nevada, California and New York 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 honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by The Wonder of Reading, and the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Corporate Citizen Award.

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 $21.2 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 80 offices, including 17 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. The company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $54.6 billion in client investment assets, including more than $34 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.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3143

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