New Books for the new School Year!

Scotiabank and First Book Canada announce national distribution of 50,000 books across Canada

(RICHMOND, BC. –Tuesday, August 11th, 2020)— First Book Canada and Scotiabank today announced their collaboration to distribute 50,000 books out of the Raincoast Distribution Group facility to high-needs students across Canada in time for the start of the 2020/2021 school year.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to all Canadians -but, even before the pandemic hit, many Canadian children were facing significant educational hurdles. According to a paper for the Public Health Agency of Canada, 27 per cent of Canadian children start school inadequately prepared and 25 per cent of Canadian children were not reading at grade level in grade three. The literacy gap has increased since the start of COVID-19, as many children have been stuck at home without reading materials or books of their own.

In addition to this, many family support services – childcare centres, drop-ins, libraries, recreation centres – were closed in the spring, disrupting routines and resources. Unemployment, food insecurity, fear and grief have created or escalated tensions in many homes.   

“According to First Book Canada, many Canadian schools in disadvantaged communities can only afford one new library book per year for every three children,” says Larry Clements, Scotiabank District Vice President, Vancouver-Richmond. “This is why Scotiabank is so proud to help First Book Canada put new books into the hands of children in order to improve access to educational opportunities for every future.”

Books provide children with limitless opportunities to expand their imagination and improve reading skills This distribution event will ensure that 50,000 brand new books are placed in schools and community organizations that serve children in need and, that the books will be put in the hands of Canadian children when they return to school in September.

“As the new school year approaches, educators serving children in need are facing their greatest challenge yet as the pandemic has exacerbated existing barriers to education, putting an entire generation of Canada’s youth at risk.” Tom Best, Executive Director of First Book Canada said today.  “With all the uncertainties around ‘Back to School 2020,’ barriers to a quality education for kids in need go far beyond a need for books and learning tools. With help from our corporate sponsor Scotiabank, countless volunteers and our publishing partners, we are hoping to make a real difference, especially here in British Columbia.”

“Raincoast takes pride in shipping books quickly to stores but the need for getting books to high needs students right now is even more urgent”,  said John Sawyer, CEO of the Raincoast Distribution Group. “We are pleased to partner on this Featured Distribution event and to support First Book Canada’s Representation in Reading Fund.  We are just one of many partners who are trying to help.”

About First Book Canada

Almost 25% of Canadian households do not have a single book. First Book Canada is transforming the lives of kids in need by making brand new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis. Through a market-driven model, First Book Canada is creating equal access to quality education affordable to its member network of more than 12,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed more than 7 million books and educational resources to hundreds of thousands of kids across Canada.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: “for every future,” we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of approximately 97,000 employees and assets of over $1.2 trillion (as at April 30, 2020), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit our website and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About Raincoast Books

The Raincoast Distribution Group is the largest Canadian-owned book distribution company in the country, Founded in 1979 and now comprising three divisions; the Raincoast Distribution Group has won or been shortlisted for the Libris Award for distribution excellence more often than any book distributor or publisher in Canada.