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City National Awards Literacy Grants to Educators in Five States Totaling Nearly $77,000

February 25, 2019

City National Awards Literacy Grants to Educators in Five States Totaling Nearly $77,000


Program Has Awarded $1.6 Million Since Its Inception

City National Bank today announced that it has awarded 84 Reading is The way up® literacy grants totaling close to $77,000 to support literacy-based projects as well as financial literacy to elementary, middle and high school teachers in California, Nevada, New York, Georgia and Tennessee.

(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 nearly one million new books to elementary school libraries in California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia, and awarded nearly 1,400 teacher grants to enhance literacy totaling $1.6 million since the program’s inception in 2005.

The grants range from $500 to $1,000 and 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 over 80 schools and non-profit organizations throughout California, Nevada, New York, Georgia and Tennessee.

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 footprint across the country in the fall of each year.

“City National is very proud of the support it has provided to hundreds of teachers in five states through its literacy grant program for the past nineteen years,” said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and manager of Reading is The way up for City National.  “This program is providing much needed support to teachers who are funding a lot of their extracurricular programs from their own pockets.  The monetary support we provide to grant recipients helps augment the budget shortfalls teachers are experiencing every day in trying to educate our children.”

Some of this year’s grants funded various literacy programs such as ‘Eco-Friendly Reading, Writing and Math’ at a school in California; ‘Technology as a Tool to Develop Life Long Readers’ at a school in Nevada; ‘Replenishing the Library’s Book Collection’ at a school in New York City; ‘Refugee Girls Share Their Worlds’ at a school in Georgia; and, ‘Fiction With a Side of Truth’ at a school in Tennessee. 

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 nearly one million books to California, Nevada, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia school libraries.

  • Awarded $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.

    About City National

    With $50.3 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 71 offices, including 19 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $67.5 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 34 other countries.

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