SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada

SOURCE: Family Literacy First

Family Literacy First

March 03, 2016 10:00 ET

Family Literacy Program Celebrates Its Second Year by Launching Learning Activities in Tagalog

HSBC Family Literacy First Materials (in English, French, Simplified Chinese -- and Now Tagalog) Are Free at

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 03, 2016) - Launched in 2015, HSBC Family Literacy First is a family literacy program developed by ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC), with a three-year commitment of support from HSBC Bank Canada (HSBC), that aims to improve the literacy skills of Canadian families, including those who are new to Canada.

In its inaugural year four modules were released, each in English, French and Simplified Chinese. For 2016 three new modules in Canada's two official languages, as well as in Tagalog, a language commonly spoken in the Philippines, have been added. HSBC Family Literacy First endeavours to reach new Canadians in their mother tongue and based on Citizen and Immigration Canada information, Tagalog ranks number one on its list of 25 top mother tongue languages for Canadian permanent residents (12.6%).

By providing modules in international languages, the program connects with newcomers to Canada so that families can practice literacy in a language that is familiar to them. The addition of Tagalog will increase the program's reach to include new audiences across Canada.

In its first year HSBC Family Literacy First was used used coast to coast to coast in a large variety of learning hubs, including:

  • Libraries
  • Literacy centres
  • Schools
  • Community centres
  • YMCAs
  • Homes
  • Childcare centres
  • Ontario Early Years Centres
  • Parent or family resource centres
  • Community services organizations

"When we look at the range of organizations that are using the program with their communities, not to mention the parents that are using the program at home, I am confident that in its first year HSBC Family Literacy First has made a positive impact on family literacy across Canada," said Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada. "We are excited to extend our reach into additional new-comer communities with the introduction of Tagalog-and to see continued growth reaching diverse families in English, French and Simplified Chinese. All families can use literacy support and ABC is proud to provide free quality programs like HSBC Family Literacy First."

The program includes a series of learning modules, each featuring an original story that links to fun learning activities, which increase engagement and reinforce literacy skills. The modules are available online and through local literacy programs at community hubs. Modules are also supported by an easy-to-use Facilitator's Guide designed to allow for variety of instructors to deliver the program, including parents, teachers, and learning centre facilitators. HSBC employee volunteers across Canada are also available to help to deliver the program at organizations in their communities.

"When HSBC and ABC launched HSBC Family Literacy First, we were responding to a need in Canada to improve literacy levels amongst Canadian families," says Betty Miao, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada. "The addition of Tagalog to the program will help allow one of the fastest growing populations of newcomers to Canada to develop and improve those skills to reach their full potential."

The new 2016 modules are now available at Literacy organizations and parents can register online to access the free stories and activities. Learning together as a family leads to better literacy for everyone! 

About ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. ABC envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit, or stay connected with us through Twitter and Facebook. For more information about HSBC Family Literacy First, please visit:

About HSBC Bank Canada

HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in the country. We help companies and individuals across Canada to do business and manage their finances internationally through three global business lines: Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Retail Banking and Wealth Management. Canada is a priority market for the HSBC Group -- one of the world's largest banking and financial services groups with assets of US$2,410bn at 31 December 2015. Linked by advanced technology, HSBC serves customers worldwide through an international network of around 6,000 offices in 71 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Stephanie Wells
    Manager, Communications
    ABC Life Literacy Canada
    Telephone: 1-800-303-1004, ext. 122