Reading is the Way Up, Winner of the 2013 Innovations in Reading Prize

February 2016



Each year, the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize awards five prizes of $2,500 each to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading. The National Book Foundation is proud to recognize City National Bank’s Reading is the Way Up as a winner of the 2014 Innovations in Reading Prize.

City National Bank believes that a good education and the ability to learn throughout one’s career are vital to success in today’s world―and it all starts with reading.

Reading Is the Way Up was started in 2002 to address the plight of school libraries and the lack of current and compelling books available to students. To date, the program has placed over 170,000 books into the hands of students. City National has done this through strategic partnerships with Barnes & Noble and Reading Is Fundamental, with the goal of promoting book ownership.

In 2005, a literacy grant component was added to the program. Since then, more than $600,000 in grants have been awarded to elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the five states where City National has offices. In 2011, school author visits were added to the program, and each student in attendance gets a signed copy of the author’s book. In addition, City National colleagues are encouraged to participate in the program and are given paid time off to do so.

The Reading Is the Way Up program has reached over 100,000 children and continues to look for creative ways to expand without losing the program’s focus.