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City National Awards Teacher Literacy Grants to Educators in Four States Totaling Over $103,000

Program Receives Record Number of Grant Applications

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it has awarded 112 Reading is The way up® literacy grants totaling more than $103,000 to support literacy-based projects as well as financial literacy to elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada, New York and Georgia. This year’s teacher literacy grant program also received the most grant applications ever submitted since the grant program began in 2005.

(For a list of all grant recipients, go to

Reading is The way up is the award-winning non-profit literacy program through which City National has donated more than 400,000 books to elementary school libraries in California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia, and awarded more than 1,000 teacher grants to enhance literacy totaling over $1 million since the program’s inception.

The grants ranging from $500 to $1,500 will help augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative and engaging, and that would have a tangible effect on student achievement. The winning programs are expected to directly improve literacy to more than 10,000 students in 93 schools and non-profit organizations throughout California, Nevada, New York and Georgia.

The educators receiving literacy grants were selected from among the many full-time teachers, librarians, administrators and school media specialists who submitted an online application.  The one-page application was available to educators in every school district throughout the bank’s five-state footprint.

“Our ability to fund the increased number of teacher literacy grants is tied directly to our colleagues and their generosity through our annual workplace giving program,” said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and manager of Reading is The way up for City National.  “The majority of our literacy programs are funded each year by colleague donations, which also reflects the bank’s overall commitment to education.  Teachers are the unsung heroes in our communities, and they deserve all the help that we can give them.”

Some of this year’s grants funded various literacy programs such as ‘The Refugee Project’ at a High Tech High School in California, ‘Getting Ready for the Future’ at J.L. Bowler Elementary School in Nevada, ‘Back to Basics’ at The New LIFE School in New York City; and ‘Reading Milestones’ at Chapel Hill Middle School in Georgia.

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.  Since its inception, the award-winning program has:

  • Donated 400,000 books to California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia school libraries.
  • Awarded over $1 million to teachers at 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, the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Corporate Citizen Award, and honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by the Wonder of Reading.
  • Received the 2013 Innovations Reading Prize Award presented by the National Book Foundation.
  • Received the 2013 Outstanding Corporation of the Year Award presented by the Clark County School District-Community Partnership Program in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Received the 2013 Angel Light Foundation Award for excellence in community service and educational outreach presented by the Angel Light Academy in Orange County, CA.

The Reading is the Way Up Fund is a 501(c)(3) administered by the California Community Foundation.  For more information, visit

About City National

With $35.6 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 75 offices, including 16 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville and Atlanta.  In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $59.4 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies.  RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 38 other countries.

For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at

Media Contact:
Paul Stowell, City National Bank, 213.673.7602

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