SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada

January 23, 2017 09:54 ET

Family literacy program helps newcomers to Canada learn in their first languages

Free family learning materials in English, French, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog and now Arabic at

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - January 23, 2017) - Learning as a family in your first, second or third language improves the skills of both children and adults. That is why ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) with support from HSBC Bank Canada (HSBC) developed the HSBC Family Literacy First program. The program is in its third year and provides engaging learning modules with stories and activities to support families learning in their first language while providing an opportunity to practice skills in English and French.

Since the program launched in 2015, seven learning modules have been created and are being used by families and literacy and learning organizations across the country. All modules are available in English and French, and are also translated into either Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, or new this year, Arabic.

"Parents are a child's first and most important teacher. When parents have the skills they need to live a fully engaged life, they are better able to help their children succeed," says Mack Rogers, Director of Community Programs, ABC Life Literacy Canada. "The learning resources help families build essential skills in their first language which they can then apply to English and French and other aspects of their daily life."

Each of the HSBC Family Literacy First modules includes an original story and supporting activities that engage the entire family and reinforce literacy skills. The modules are available online at for families and literacy and learning organizations. Modules are supported by easy-to-use Facilitator Guides for parent, teacher, and learning centre facilitator program delivery. HSBC employee volunteers also provide their support by delivering the program at organizations in their communities.

"An important part of the program is delivery of the workshops by volunteers," says David Kuo, Head of Branch Network, Ontario, HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Family Literacy First volunteer. "Since its inception in 2015, hundreds of HSBC employees have given back as volunteers with the program. When our employees volunteer as a team, they feel a connection to their colleagues, local communities and to wider society."

The first of three new learning modules for 2017 is now available for free download at Literacy organizations and parents can register online to access the new module and all previous modules. Finding time each day for learning together as a family improves the skills of both parent and child leading to better literacy for all.

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$2,557bn at 30 September 2016. Linked by advanced technology, HSBC serves customers worldwide through an international network of around 4,400 offices in 71 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Ana Oliveira
    Manager, Marketing and Partnerships
    ABC Life Literacy Canada
    T: 1-800-303-1004, ext. 121