Applicants from the same school may apply individually or as part of a team. Each team may receive up to $1,500. Over the past seven years the bank has awarded over $500,000 in literacy grants.
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 make 20 Galileo telescopes to facilitate the use of reading, writing, math, engineering and science skills. In another, funds were used to create a Reading Fluency and Comprehension program through the use of technology.
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. To date, the bank has:
- Donated more than 115,000 books to Nevada, California and New York and Nashville school libraries
- Awarded more than $500,000 to teachers in elementary, middle and high schools for creative literacy projects
- Awarded $10,000 to the Children's Defense Fund-California Urban Lights Freedom Schools program in support of after school enrichment curriculum
- 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 honored as the 2007 Corporate Visionary Partner by The Wonder of Reading, and the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Corporate Citizen Award.