LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy and financially-based literacy projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in five states. Administered through City National's award-winning Reading is The way up® literacy program, this year's program will award up to $100,000 in both literacy and financial literacy grants. This is the first year since the bank launched its literacy grant program in 2004 that it has offered the financial literacy component. "The financial literacy enhancement to this year's grant program was a natural evolution given our Dollars + Sense financial literacy program," said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National. "Given the environment we live in today the need to teach financial literacy in our schools is just as important as reading and writing. We hope this new feature to the program will inspire teachers to also focus on financial literacy in the classroom." This is the ninth 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. 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 and financial literacy.