NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it has awarded 91 Reading is The way up ® grants totaling more than $77,000 to support literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools in New York, California and Nevada. New York educators received five grants totaling $5,500.

(See attached list of New York grant recipients or visit .)

Reading is The way up is the award-winning literacy initiative through which City National has donated more than 80,000 books to elementary school libraries in New York, California and Nevada, and awarded 541 teacher grants to enhance literacy totaling close to $500,000 since the program's inception in 2002.

The grants ranging from $500 to $1,500 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 the literacy of over 10,000 students in New York, California and Nevada.

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.

"We are excited to award much needed funds to a number of very deserving educators in the New York City area this year as part of our annual literacy grant program," said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and manager of Reading is The way up for City National. "These literacy grants are an investment in our future and part of our daily commitment to the communities we serve."

Projects funded included:
  • A literacy project called "Centered and READy to Take Off" . Through innovative and interest-driven literacy activities, students will emerge as stronger, more proficient and deeply engaged readers. As the focal point of instruction, learning centers designed across content areas will foster both social and academic growth.
  • A literacy project that focuses on increasing "Reading Fluency and Comprehension using Technology" . Working in small groups students will use flip cameras to record each other reading, retelling and summarizing various grade level literature pieces. The students will be able to view and hear themselves reading and providing immediate feedback.
  • A literacy project that enhances "Computer Literacy" by allowing students to experience technology as an ever-changing medium and its many resources to apply concepts in a cross-curricular manner. This project will also help students better engage in online programs that foster reading, science, math and writing skills.

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.

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