The Need

Almost 25% of Canadian households don’t have a single book. Low literacy levels place children at a disadvantage that perpetuates poverty. With your help, we can change this.

Understanding the Need

In low-income households, schools, and communities, books and educational resources are scarce. Kids start school behind their more affluent peers and never catch up. Their educational and economic prospects suffer, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

A record number of kids are growing up in need.

  • More than 1/3 of Canadian public school students live in low income households.

Public education and programs are deeply underfunded.

  • Many schools in economically disadvantaged communities in Canada can only afford 1 new library book a year for every 3 children.

Without adequate resources, children can not learn.

  • 30 percent of Grade 3 Canadian students lack basic literacy skills.

The impact of this cycle of can be staggering.

  • Poor educational outcomes are tied to future poverty, unemployment, illness and crime.

Our Solution

We harness the collective power of educators serving low-income children. Through our award-winning innovative and powerful distribution channels, the First Book Canada Marketplace and the First Book Canada National Book Bank, we effectively deliver resources to these low-income communities, from books to backpacks. Through our fast-growing network of educators, we identify and respond to unmet needs and ensure the right materials are reaching the right students.

First Book Canada provides resources where there were none before

First Book Canada’s resources enhance our member’s programs and enrich the learning experience for the children they serve.

First Book Canada increases children’s interest in reading

In a poll of the First Book Canada network, 83 percent report seeing an increased interest in reading after receiving books from First Book Canada.

First Book Canada improves self-esteem in readers

In a poll of the First Book Canada network, 54 percent report that children receiving books have increased self-esteem.

First Book helps close the achievement gap

In a poll of the First Book network, 88% report resources from First Book helps close the achievement gap for the kids they serve.

The Impact

First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education.

7 million
books and resources distributed to date
Hundreds of thousands
children reached annually
Over 10,000
registered members, with 100 new educators joining monthly
13 Regions
All 10 provinces and 3 territories reached

Our Mission

Educational equity can only be achieved when educators and kids have the resources they need to succeed. From books to backpacks, crayons to computers, First Book Canada delivers critical tools for learning and life.

First Book [Canada] does such important work. We are so happy to be able to give families free books that they can keep and own […] and we see the benefits of this in our community and in our schools.

— Kailey, Langley Literacy Network | Langley, British Columbia