top banner

header icon We are United for Literacy


United for Literacy is a national charitable literacy organization. We believe literacy is a right. We work with volunteers and community partners to give people the skills and confidence they need to reach their potential.  


Low literacy skills are directly linked to poverty, poor health, and high unemployment. Our network of volunteers provides excellent and effective programming to improve literacy in communities across Canada, from coast to coast to coast. We value mutual respect and collaboration in all our relationships. 

In order to achieve our mission, we are committed to finding and using innovative ways to reach the people who need us most. Our activities, programs, and services are inclusive of any individual for whom our assistance is welcome and needed. 

“I take pride in knowing that I am helping someone gain valuable reading skills and a new perspective on the possibilities for their lives.”

Volunteer Tutor

Philosophy of Learning: Student-Centered Individualized Learning (SCIL) 

We follow the Student-Centered Individualized Learning philosophy, meaning that people are active in deciding what they want to learn. We believe: 

  • Everyone has a right to learn 
  • We go where people are, rather than expecting them to come to us 
  • Every place is a learning place 
  • We value a tutorial partnership where the learner and tutor respect and learn from each other 
  • We value the contributions learners, volunteers, and partners make in the learning experience            


Literacy is recognized as a human right and a driving force to empowerment and prosperity. United for Literacy leads the effort in Canada to help people and communities reach their full potential through the power of literacy. 

Read more about our five-year strategic plan.

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

United for Literacy is committed to promoting Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and emphasizes a working and learning environment for everyone. Our JEDI framework reflects the "All Welcome" philosophy that is at the core of all United for Literacy internal and external relationships, practices, and policies. 

To learn more, read our framework.

Pride month and National Indigenous History Month

United for Literacy is approaching its 125th anniversary. From the organization’s very beginning, we have worked from the perspective that literacy is a tool for social change and equity. Just as we are always working to create positive change in the lives of our learners, the communities we work in, and Canada as a whole, we also grow and change to demonstrate our “All Welcome” philosophy in action. 

June is Pride month and National Indigenous History Month.

United for Literacy celebrates our 2SLGBTQ+ and Indigenous employees, volunteers, learners, partners and supporters. We honour and celebrate everyone who identifies as Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and all other identities of gender or sexual expression. We commemorate the history, heritage, and diversity of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit People in Canada. We work collaboratively with these communities to create l programs that are respectful of the needs of everyone. Using an individualized approach to learning means that learners read books and use resources that are meaningful to them. We are also committed to using language that is respectful of the vast array of people we connect with every day.

Give the gift of literacy
Do twice the good with one donation! Make your donation today to be matched dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum of $40,000. Your gift will help build strong literacy skills leading to a bright future, one word at a time.
Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram LinkedIn