LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it has awarded 118 Reading Is The Way Up(r) grants totaling $60,000 to support literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools in California.

The City National Bank Reading Is The Way Up 2008 California Literacy Grant Recipients list is available at http://media.primezone.com/cache/7783/file/5556.pdf

Visit www.readingisthewayup.org to view the Grant Recipient list.

Reading Is The Way Up(r) is the award-winning literacy initiative through which City National has donated more than 25,000 books to elementary school libraries in Nevada and California and contributed more than $1.8 million since 2002 to support education.

The grants, ranging from $500 to $1,500 each, will help augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative and engaging, and that would have a tangible affect on student achievement. The winning programs are expected to directly improve the literacy of more than 10,000 students.

The 118 educators receiving the grants were selected from among the more than 200 full-time teachers, librarians, administrators and school media specialists in California who submitted an online application. Applications were distributed to every school district in the 11 California counties where City National Bank maintains offices. They include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura counties.

"Our students deserve every opportunity we can provide to help them achieve the reading and language skills they need to succeed in life," said Samantha Davies, City National Bank senior vice president, who manages City National's community affiliations and charitable-giving programs. "These literacy grants are an investment in our future and part of our daily commitment to the communities we serve."

Projects funded included:



 * A charter middle-school in the Westlake-MacArthur Park area of
   Los Angeles will purchase books and books on tape/CDs for an
   audio-visual reading/learning center that will be established in
   the school's new library.
 * A puppet theater will help second-grade students in Anaheim improve
   their language skills and, using puppets dressed in various
   vocational uniforms, begin raising their awareness of different
   career opportunities.
 * A San Francisco charter high school will launch a poetry
   appreciation project for which students will create lesson plans
   and prepare instructional materials for, and provide classroom
   instruction to, local pre-school and elementary students.

About Reading Is The Way Up(r)

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(r) initiative to restock the state's school library system. The program was expanded into Nevada following the 2007 completion of City National's merger with Business Bank of Nevada.

To date, the bank has:



 * Contributed $1.8 million to support education, including an initial
   contribution of $100,000 to buy about 5,000 books for public school
   libraries through the California Governor's Book Fund and the
   California State Library Foundation.
 * Donated more than 25,000 books to Nevada and California school
   libraries.
 * Launched "One Class at a Time," an educational outreach program
   sponsored by the bank and Las Vegas television station FOX5. Each
   month, the program awards a $1,000 grant to an outstanding Clark
   County School District teacher.
 * Established a library "reading corner" at the Jerome D. Mack Middle
   School in Las Vegas. The bank donated more than 500 brand new
   books, 300 comic books, furniture and $1,000 for additional
   educational supplies.
 * 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, and was
   honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by The Wonder of
   Reading.

The bank also has created the Reading Is The Way Up Fund, a 501(c)(3) administered by the California Community Foundation, as a funding resource to purchase books for school libraries in California. For more information, visit www.readingisthewayup.org.

About City National

City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation (NYSE:CYN). It is backed by $15.9 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 62 offices, including 15 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada and New York City. The company and its eight majority-owned investment affiliates manage or administer nearly $56 billion in client investment assets, including $35.9 billion under direct management.

The City National Bank logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3143

For more information about City National, visit the company's Website at cnb.com.

City National Bank
Media Contact:
David Garcia
213.673.7610
david.garcia@cnb.com