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City National Reading Is The Way Up® Literacy Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary

July 12, 2017

City National Reading Is The Way Up® Literacy Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Program Support Totals Nearly $2 Million Since its Inception

LOS ANGELES, CA – City National Bank, America’s Premier Private and Business Bank®, today announced that it has reached a significant milestone in the history of its Reading is The way up Literacy Program. The bank is celebrating its 15th Anniversary of this award-winning literacy-based educational outreach program, which has provided financial support to numerous schools and nonprofit organizations focused on literacy.

What began in 2002 as a California focused educational program has grown to include Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia.  With the bank’s recent expansion into Minneapolis, Minnesota, and soon to be Washington, D.C., City National will expand its Reading is The way up literacy program to include these markets as well.  Such programs as the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive, the bank’s Teacher Literacy Grant program, Author Visits, Back-to-School Drive, Dollars & Sense financial literacy program and more will be introduced to schools and educators in these states markets.

“City National has been such a strong supporter of education and advocate in helping Solano Elementary and so many other schools with monetary and program support for literacy based projects,” said William Bertrand, principal of Solano Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles.  “It’s true when they say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are so proud to have City National as an integral part of our village. It’s very obvious that educational support is at the forefront of City National’s community outreach programs.”

Since the inception of the bank’s Reading is The way up literacy program, City National has donated more than 500,000 new books to school libraries and nonprofits, and has awarded over $1.4 million to teachers at elementary, middle and high schools through its literacy grant program for creative literacy projects in five states.  The bank has also hosted countless school visits with renowned authors speaking to students about becoming an author and getting published along with teaching thousands of hours of financial literacy courses.

“We’re very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in our schools and with students through our literacy program, but there’s so much more to do and City National is committed to helping more schools and students develop a love of reading over the next 15 years,” said Chris Warmuth, president of City National.  “Literacy is the key to our children’s future and the future of our communities.  As Principal Bertrand said, it truly does take a village to not only raise, but to educate a child.”

City National will launch this month its 8th Annual Back-to-School Drive that collects backpacks filled with school supplies from bank colleagues.  Last year colleagues collected over 1,400 backpacks filled with erasers, highlighters, round-tip scissors, packs of wide ruled paper, colored pencils, folders, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, rulers, box of crayons, glue sticks, #2 pencils, three ring binders, and more.  The backpacks were donated to 54 elementary and middle schools along with a few nonprofits throughout City National’s footprint.

“City National views itself as an extension of the classroom through the many educational programs we offer to schools in the markets we serve,” said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National.  “We’re committed to providing teachers and students with the resources they need to be successful in and out of the classroom.  We will also continue to bring more corporate partners, like Barnes & Noble, to the table in an effort to increase the scope of our educational programs so we can reach more educators and students.”

During the past 15 years, City National has received a number of awards for its many educational programs related to its Reading is The way up literacy program. Some of these awards include the following:

  • 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.

For more information about City National’s literacy and other educational outreach programs, go to the following websites:

About City National

With $45.0 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 72 offices, including 17 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta and Minneapolis. In addition,

the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $58.5 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 35 other countries.

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