What We Do

CODE Supports Literacy and Learning in Canada and Around the World

Through our programs aiming to support the local publishing of engaging books for children and youth, to further develop the skills of educators and to support libraries, we're empowering young people to reach their full potential for a brighter future.

Reading CODE

Reading CODE is the comprehensive readership initiative at the heart of CODE's programs in developing countries. Together with our local partners, we work with teachers, librarians, writers, and publishers to support and sustain the development of literacy learning in schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12.  Reading CODE is based on two essential elements: interesting books that are relevant to the readers and written in languages the readers understand; and meaningful engagement with these books through high quality teaching. 

Learn more about Reading CODE

The Burt Literary Awards

The Burt Literary Awards program is a literary award and readership initiative that recognizes excellence in young adult literature and provides young readers with engaging books that they want to read. Established by CODE in collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Award addresses an ongoing shortage of relevant, quality books for young people, while at the same time promoting a love of reading and learning at the middle and secondary school levels.

First offered in Tanzania in 2008, the Burt Award is now offered in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Canada and the Caribbean and has resulted in the publication of over 220,000 copies of 45 new titles for young readers. 

Learn more about the Burt Award

How We Do It

Professional Development for Teachers and Librarians

In development countries, too few teachers are adequately-prepared to teach reading and writing. Through professional development workshops, we help teachers and librarians to develop child-centered teaching and classroom management strategies that will help them to improve their students' literacy skills.

Local Publishing

We help to provide young readers with reading materials that relate directly to their own experience by working with local authors, illustrators, editors and publishers to produce children’s publications in 17 local and national languages.


It’s one thing to have books, it’s another to make them accessible to students and the larger community. With our partners, we provide support to libraries for students and their communities.

Donated Books

Each year, North American publishers donate hundreds of thousands of new books to CODE through our U.S. affiliate, the International Book Bank. Our partners in the developing world select books from checklists, and then make them available to schools and libraries across the country.

Where We Work

CODE is currently working to advance literacy and learning in eight African countries, 34 Caribbean countries and Canada.

See our Work Around the World