SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy

ABC Life Literacy

SOURCE: HSBC Family Literacy First

HSBC Family Literacy First

January 26, 2015 10:00 ET

More Than 100,000 Children and Adults Expected to Access a New, Free Family Literacy Program Over Next Three Years

HSBC Family Literacy First Program Materials in English, French and Simplified Chinese Are Free at

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - January 26, 2015) - ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) and HSBC Bank Canada (HSBC) announced HSBC Family Literacy First -- a new initiative aimed at improving the literacy skills of Canadian families.

"Parents are a child's first teacher, and research shows that family-focused learning has an enormous impact on both the child's and the adult's literacy gains," said Gillian Mason, President, ABC Life Literacy Canada. "Thanks to support from HSBC, we anticipate more than 100,000 adults and children across Canada will access this new, high-quality literacy programming over the next three years."

The program is built around a series of learning modules. Each module includes an easy-to-use Facilitator's Guide and features an original story relevant to Canadian culture. The story links to fun learning activities, increasing engagement and reinforcing literacy skills. The modules will be available online and through literacy programs at a variety of community hubs, including community, settlement, and learning and literacy centres. Modules are designed to allow for variety of instructors to deliver the program, including parents, teachers, and centre facilitators. HSBC employee volunteers across Canada will also help to deliver the program at organizations in their communities, beginning later this year.

"According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canadians are falling behind other countries when it comes to literacy skills, which can affect their quality of life and Canada's ability to succeed on a global scale," said Betty Miao, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada. "HSBC believes that education is a fundamental building block of healthy communities; and having lived in numerous countries around the world over my 25 year career with HSBC, I understand the challenges people can experience when they are new to a country and learning a new language and culture."

In 2015, four modules will be offered in English, French and Simplified Chinese. In 2016 and 2017 three new modules will be released, each year, in Canada's two official languages, as well as a new common first language.

HSBC Bank Canada has made a three-year commitment in support of the program. This marks a significant increase in support from HSBC, who previously supported ABC's online HSBC Learning Activity Centre and Family Literacy Day.

The first 2015 module is now available at Literacy organizations and parents need simply register to access the free stories and activities -- and learning together can begin! 

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 Canada. The HSBC Group serves customers worldwide from over 6,200 offices in 74 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,729bn at 30 September 2014, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

Contact Information

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

    Aurora Bonin
    Senior Media Relations Manager
    HSBC Bank Canada
    Tel: 604-641-1905