LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank is now accepting applications from educators for grants to support literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools in California, New York and Nevada.

The online application can be accessed by visiting www.readingisthewayup.org/literacy.asp. Any full-time teacher, librarian, administrator or school media specialist at a school in the county of New York, or in one of the 11 California or four Nevada counties in which 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.

About 150 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 as long as the recipient shows that the project for which funds are sought will support literacy.

City National's Reading is The way up(R) program will award the grants. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2009, and awardees will be notified early next year. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2010.

Applicants may apply individually or as part of a team. To ensure that grants are distributed to a wide range of schools, multiple grants are not likely to be awarded to applicants at the same school. However, applicants from the same school applying as a team for the same project can submit up to a maximum of three applications (for a total of $1,500).

This is the fifth year City National has awarded grants for literacy projects through the bank's Reading is The way up program. In 2005, City National awarded $31,000 to Orange County educators in honor of the bank's 30th anniversary in Orange County. The program was expanded throughout Nevada in 2007, when the bank awarded $65,000 to more than 100 educators. It was expanded again in 2008 to New York teachers.

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 enhance literacy for struggling English language learners through the art of puppetry. In another, funds were used to help start a high school newspaper.

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 City National

City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation (NYSE:CYN). Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is backed by $17.7 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 63 offices, including 15 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. City National and its eight majority-owned investment affiliates manage or administer $47.8 billion in client investment assets, including more than $30 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

About Reading is The way up(R)

Seeking to better the education of California's future leaders, City National in April 2002 launched a multi-faceted initiative to restock the state's school library system. Since then, the award-winning program has:

 * Donated more than 40,000 books to California and Nevada school
 * Awarded more than $225,000 to teachers at elementary, middle and
   high schools for creative literacy projects.
 * Helped open 20 new elementary school libraries through its
   partnership with The Wonder of Reading in Los Angeles.
 * Raised over $275,000 in charitable gifts from colleagues and
   clients through its Reading is The way up Fund.

The Reading is The way up Fund is a 501(c)(3) administered by the California Community Foundation, and serves as a funding resource to purchase books for school libraries in California. For more information, visit www.readingisthewayup.org.

City National Bank
Media Contact:
Debora Vrana