Funds will be deployed in collaboration with Hoot Reading to provide literacy tutoring to 2,500 children from underserved communities across Canada
TORONTO and WINNIPEG – January 26, 2022 – BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada) today announced that it has received a $1 million grant from the 2021 TD Ready Challenge, which is an annual initiative that provides funding to programs that address societal issues. The 2021 TD Ready Challenge focused on addressing predicted learning loss in math and reading for disproportionately impacted students in grades K-12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. BGC Canada will deploy the funds in collaboration with Hoot Reading to provide more than 12,500 hours of one-on-one remote literacy tutoring with experienced classroom teachers to more than 2,500 children at after school programs in Clubs across the country.
Hoot Reading is an online tutoring platform that provides children from pre-K to grade 6 with live, guided reading practice during one-on-one 20-minute lessons with real classroom teachers who specialize in early childhood literacy skills development. The research-based service advances reading skills through a video chat platform that allows for real time on-screen collaboration between the child and teacher. Hoot Reading’s rapidly growing network of more than 500 teachers deliver personalized and engaging lessons featuring a carefully curated library of more than 2,000 high-quality levelled texts.
As Canada’s largest child and youth focused organization, BGC Canada helps young people develop the skills they need to succeed. Working with Hoot Reading as BGC Canada’s literacy tutoring partner was based on the success of a pre-pandemic pilot with 250 students in after-school programming across 22 BGC Club locations. The pilot was enabled through Hoot Reading’s Hoot for All initiative with generous support from Spin Master Canada.
“We created Hoot for All to provide reading support at no cost to Canada’s most vulnerable children and youth to close the gap on the fourth grade reading slump for the benefit of those most at risk,” said Carly Shuler, co-founder and co-CEO of Hoot Reading. “Following the Hoot for All pilot we did with BGC Canada, our plan was to scale this initiative and reach even more students from vulnerable communities across Canada. Thanks to the TD Ready Challenge, we can once again work together and help children who have struggled with learning loss in the wake of the pandemic.”
Serving over 200,000 kids and teens annually for more than 120 years, BGC Clubs are located across the country in all provinces and one territory. Taking a preventative approach to a broad range of critical issues, Clubs open their doors to young people of all ages, backgrounds, and identities. Trained staff and volunteers run local and national programs that promote positive outcomes for young people in education, healthy living, physical activity, mental health, leadership, self-expression, and more.
“When families are struggling, they turn to BGC Clubs for guidance and support, during the pandemic and beyond,” says Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada. “We applaud TD for stepping up to help our Clubs and Hoot Reading remove barriers to technology and education and give young people a boost in their literacy skills when they need it the most. We know this will have a long-term and positive impact on thousands of students across Canada.”
“The goal of the TD Ready Commitment is to help people feel confident about their future and create opportunities to succeed in a changing world, and BGC Canada has brought forward an innovative solution to help disproportionately impacted students catch up on their learning and minimize future loss,” said Janice Farrell Jones, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Being a grant recipient of the 2021 TD Ready Challenge is a testament to the creativity and dedication of BGC Canada to helping open doors to a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. We look forward to the impact this year’s 15 recipients will have as they put their solutions into action.”
A key component of the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform, The TD Ready Challenge is an annual initiative aimed at providing funding to programs that are focused on helping to address societal issues. TD established the TD Ready Challenge in 2018, and has since provided $40MM (CDN) in funding to 50 organizations across its North American footprint to support scalable solutions identified within the four drivers of The TD Ready Commitment: Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health.
In total, TD awarded $10 million (CDN) for the 2021 TD Ready Challenge to organizations in Canada and the U.S. that are addressing predicted learning loss in math and reading. A full list of The Ready Challenge winners as well as more information about the challenge can be found at td.com/readychallenge.
About BGC Canada
For 120+ years, BGC Canada has been creating opportunities for millions of Canadian kids and teens. As Canada’s largest child and youth serving charitable and community services organization, our Clubs open their doors to young people of all ages and their families at 736 locations nationwide. During out-of-school hours in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities, our trained staff and volunteers provide programs and services that help young people realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, job readiness, mental wellness, social development, leadership, and more. Opportunity changes everything. Learn more at bgccan.com and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.
About Hoot Reading
Hoot Reading is an edtech startup that provides research-based online reading education. The company’s human, one-to-one, online tutoring (Hoot) platform and app is used to connect kids with experienced classroom teachers who deliver customized lessons that advance reading skills. Incubated on a research project at the Nokia Research Lab in partnership with Sesame Workshop (the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street) and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Hoot Reading’s reading programs – Hoot Enrich, Hoot Tutor, and Hoot Junior – ensure that all students of any age and reading level receive the attention and help they deserve. Hoot Reading’s mission is to close the gap on the 4th grade reading slump and help all kids develop a lifelong love of learning. Visit hootreading.com to learn more.
About The TD Ready Commitment
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (U.S. $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through the TD Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/tdreadycommitment.