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TD Bank Group invests $600,000 in Concordia

New gift to support ABRACADABRA children’s literacy program from Faculty of Arts and Science as well as sustainable internship for John Molson School of Business students
October 18, 2016

TD gift announcement From left: Graham Carr, Concordia provost and vice-president, Academic Affairs; Frank McKenna, deputy chair, TD Bank Group; Sylvie Demers, chair, Quebec Market, TD Bank Group; André Roy, dean, Faculty of Arts and Science; Stéphane Brutus, interim Dean, John Molson School of Business | Photo credit: Concordia University

The causes of literacy and sustainability are being advanced thanks to a major corporate gift to Concordia. TD Bank Group is donating $600,000 to support two innovative programs at the university.

Half of the TD gift will support the ABRACADABRA literacy program developed by researchers from Concordia’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance in the Faculty of Arts and Science to help children acquire reading skills up to 20 per cent faster.

Another $300,000 of the TD gift will help propel the next-generation of business professionals at the John Molson School of Business. The Sustainable Internship Program provides work opportunities to Concordia students who lend their budding talents to small-sized, green focused companies.

“As part of Concordia’s nine strategic directions, our university aims to double its research and embrace the world. We are grateful for TD Bank Group's support of our initiatives, our students and our society with a gift to advance our innovative programs,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard.

“TD is proud to support these leading initiatives, further reinforcing our commitment to children's literacy and the environment,” says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. “This donation will make ABRACADABRA more accessible and help accelerate the development of literacy skills, while also providing practical experience to young professionals seeking a career in the eco-friendly sector through the Sustainable Internship Program. We are pleased to expand our relationship with Concordia and invest in our future generations.”

TD support for ABRACADABRA

ABRACADABRA, a digital literacy program, was originally developed in English by Concordia’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance and later adapted to French by partners from the Université Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Several long-term studies in Canada and abroad have demonstrated the program’s success.

TD’s gift will go towards revamping ABRACADABRA, making the software compatible with kid-friendly smartphones and tablets for the benefit of young readers. Many new readers stand to benefit from ABRACADABRA, since there are 1.2 million children across the country enrolled in kindergarten to grade two according Statistics Canada.

“Reading is the gateway through which other skills are acquired. Research has shown that societies that invest in literature foster a more equitable and informed society,” says André Roy, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science. “We are grateful for TD’s support of ABRACADABRA and Concordia.”

TD support for Sustainable Internship Program

TD’s gift towards the Student Internship Program will support 20 JMSB students annually. Scholars will train at eco-friendly organizations that count on external support to pay student interns. The Student Internship Program was developed by JMSB’s David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise and the business school’s Career Management Services.

“Contact with real-world businesses is a pivotal learning experience for our students,” says Stéphane Brutus, interim dean of the John Molson School of Business. “It’s a way to apply book smarts to real situations. We thank TD for supporting the next generation of sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurs.”

“Every young person should have the opportunity to realize their full potential and get the support they need to do so. At TD, we believe that a first-class education opens a number of doors and greatly contributes to the well-being of individuals, families and the community,'' says Sylvie Demers, Chair, Quebec Market, TD Bank Group. “That's why we are delighted to continue our long-standing support of Concordia University.”

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