LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in five states. The bank also announced that with this being the 10 th Anniversary of its Reading is The way up literacy program that it would be awarding $100,000 in literacy grants this year. This is the eighth consecutive year that City National has been offering literacy grants to educators in its service area, which includes California, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Georgia. Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting www.readingisthewayup.org. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The counties in Nevada include Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe, while the New York City area includes New York County. Educators in Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee are also eligible to apply. Approximately 200 grants totaling $100,000 will be awarded as part of City National's literacy program anniversary celebration. Grants will provide up to $500 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. City National's Reading is The way up literacy program, which began in 2002, will award the grants. Applications will be accepted beginning October 15 and running through November 30, 2012, and awardees will be notified early next year. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2013. "It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since our literacy program began, which we enhanced a few years later with the literacy grant component," said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National. "We wanted to do something special for this year's grant program and we believe awarding $100,000 will be very meaningful to this year's grant recipients. Literacy is one of the key building blocks to educating our children, and with all of the cutbacks in state education budgets the need for this type of grant program is paramount for teachers today."