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City National Accepting Applications For Literacy Grants Totaling Up to $80,000

September 25, 2019

City National Accepting Applications For Literacy Grants Totaling Up to $80,000


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 six states and the District of Columbia.  Administered through City National’s award-winning Reading is The way up® literacy program, this year’s program will award up to $80,000 in both literacy and financial literacy grants.

This year marks the 16th consecutive year that City National has been awarding literacy grants as part of its Reading is The way up literacy program.  Since the literacy grant program began in 2004, City National has awarded over $1.5 million in literacy grants to teachers in California, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Georgia.  City National has expanded this year’s program to include Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., where the bank expanded into over two years ago with regional centers.

“City National does a lot in the way of educational outreach, but our teacher literacy grant program is perhaps one of our most important programs because it gets to the heart of helping educate students,” said Jennifer Nickerson, senior vice president and corporate citizenship manager for City National Bank.  “These grants are an integral part of the educational curriculum for many teachers and their students when it comes to academic learning.  We feel very fortunate to be able to provide schools and teachers with some of the additional resources they need to help enhance the learning opportunities for students.”

Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in the six states and the District of Columbia where City National has offices is eligible to apply. Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting

Grants will provide up to $1,000 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.

City National’s Reading is The way up literacy program, which began in 2002, will award the grants. Applications will be accepted beginning October 1 and running through October 31, 2019.  Awardees will be notified in December. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2020.  For more information about the Reading is The way up Literacy Grants Program, visit or send an e-mail to

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 more than 800,000 books to California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia school libraries.
  • Awarded nearly $1.6 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