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 one-third 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 one new library book a year for every three children.

Without adequate resources, children can not learn.

  • Thirty percent of Grade three Canadian students lack basic literacy skills.

The impact of this cycle can be staggering.

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

The Impact of Our Work

First Book Canada transforms the lives of children in need by making brand-new, high-quality books and resources affordable and available to the educators and kids who need them most.

10 million
books and resources distributed to date
Hundreds of thousands
children reached annually
Over 20,000
registered members, with 100 new educators joining monthly
13 Regions
All 10 provinces and 3 territories reached

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 Pop Up Book Distributions, 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 provides innovative programs to distribute millions of brand-new books to children living in low-income communities.

First Book Canada increases children’s interest in reading

In a poll of the First Book Canada network, 83% 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% 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.

Featured Projects

Read more about our projects and solutions for educational equity.

A flooded farming landscape.

Disaster Relief

Part of First Book Canada’s mission is to amplify the voice of educators and provide resources for a changing classroom. First Book Canada provides relief efforts across the country.

Featured Distribution

First Book Canada hosts a large-scale annual book distribution providing embers with access to carton quantities of new books for only the cost of shipping.

Pop Up Book Distribution

Registered First Book Canada members have the opportunity to attend pop-up events. Pop-up events provide access to high-quality and diverse books to members for free!

An image of children reading a book.

Reading Celebrations

In collaboration with the First Book Canada Network, First Book Canada hosts physical and virtual events where youth meet an author or illustrator to encourage the love of reading. Books are given to each participating youth.

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