Scotiabank grant will provide thousands of free reading lessons to newcomer families from refugee backgrounds

Hoot Reading, in partnership with TalentLift, will provide literacy tutoring to 200 children from newcomer families that have recently arrived from refugee circumstances.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hoot Reading and TalentLift Canada announced today that they have received a grant to deliver 3,000 reading lessons to children of newcomer families that have recently arrived from refugee circumstances. The grant is provided through ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank’s 10-year $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. Hoot Reading and TalentLift will be working together to improve literacy, high-school graduation rates, and newcomers’ sense of belonging by delivering the Rising Readers Program,1:1 reading lessons with qualified teachers, to 200 children from newcomer families.  

Many migrant and displaced children have faced barriers to accessing education programs and because of this, have been disproportionately impacted by pandemic learning loss. The Rising Readers program can support newly arrived and formerly displaced children by connecting them with evidence-based reading instruction, an online library, and access to qualified teachers. Children participating in the program will receive 15 1:1 reading lessons, unlimited access to 2,000+ decodable and levelled texts, and a progress report to help parents and in-school educators build on their child’s reading gains.

According to Hoot Reading Co-Founders, Carly Shuler and Maya Kotecha, the impact of 1:1 literacy instruction goes beyond reading gains. Access to individualized reading lessons can improve literacy skills, strengthen attitudes toward learning, and foster a better sense of belonging for newcomers. “If we truly want to build a future that is equitable and diverse, we need to better support displaced talent and their families. By partnering with impactful partners like TalentLift, Hoot Reading is creating a future where all students and their families can thrive. This is one step towards our commitment to changing children’s lives through literacy.”-Carly Shuler, Co-Founder, Hoot Reading.

“Ensuring that newcomer and refugee families have the tools they need to feel at-home faster is vital to successful social and financial integration,” said Maria Saros, Vice President and Global Head, Social Impact at Scotiabank. “Through ScotiaRISE, we are proud to support Hoot Reading and TalentLift to improve equitable access to experienced teachers, help youth feel at home faster, and improve literacy for new Canadians.”

There are more than 27 million people living as refugees worldwide and Canada is opening new routes through skilled immigration to enable more people to access a solution to displacement. Many thousands have skills needed by companies and communities across Canada, and can make remarkable contributions if given the opportunity. “Hiring teams across Canada are extending job and skilled visa opportunities to talented people in displacement. The Rising Readers program will be an important step in further leveling the field for them and ensuring the whole family can thrive after relocation to Canada. We are grateful to Scotiabank for this investment in equity and the multigenerational wellbeing of newcomer families from displacement.”-Dana Wagner, Co-Founder and Managing Director, TalentLift.

About Hoot Reading
Hoot Reading is the leading online tutoring service providing 1:1, evidence-based literacy instruction with qualified teachers. Incubated on a research project at the Nokia Research Lab with Sesame Workshop (the creators of Sesame Street) and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Hoot Reading partners with school districts across North America to change children’s lives through literacy. For more information, please visit 

About Talent Lift
TalentLift Canada (TalentLift) is a nonprofit international recruitment agency helping employers source 

and relocate talent from within refugee populations. They strive for a world where people living in refugee circumstances can use their skills to secure their futures through equitable access to job and skilled visa opportunities. They are committed to growing a community of employers sourcing and supporting displaced talent. The Rising Readers program is one of many ways that TalentLift is supporting displaced and newcomer talent.

For more information, please visit

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 over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.3 trillion (as of July 31, 2022), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @Scotiabank.

CONTACT: Melanie Rodriguez Hoot Reading 6474001754 [email protected] 

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