Brian Hand Foundation

Our dear friend, Brian Hand, tragically left us in 2015 after a heroic battle with cancer. Brian was one of the most respected members of the investment banking community in Canada. Brian was a terrific humanitarian and a brilliant intellectual who was committed to life long learning. Brian graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1997. The Foundation is dedicated to helping those in need and promoting literacy around the world.

It has been an honor to partner with the Devlin Family since 2012 and we look forward to working with the Brian Hand Foundation to end illiteracy and gender inequality in education once and for all.

Laurie McMahon

Chief Development and Communications Officer, Room to Read

The Devlin Family has partnered with Room to Read since 2012, ensuring hundreds of young learners from vulnerable communities have access a quality education. Starting in 2018, the family began hosting a dazzling annual benefit with all proceeds going directly to Room to Read programs. In 2018 and 2019 combined the benefit has supported more than 3,355 children.

​Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read is creating a world free from illiteracy and gender inequality. We are achieving this goal by helping children in low-income communities develop literacy skills and a habit of reading, and by supporting girls to build skills to succeed in school and negotiate key life decisions. We collaborate with governments and other partner organizations to deliver positive outcomes for children at scale.

Room to Read has benefitted more than 18 million children across 16 countries and 40,000 communities, and we can state unequivocally that our interventions work. Participants in Room to Read supported classrooms demonstrate significantly higher reading fluency and comprehension scores than their peers, reading two to three times faster and giving 87% more correct answers than children in comparison schools.

Further, eight in ten girls in our Girls’ Education Program graduate to go on to higher education or the workforce, from communities where typical graduation rates are closer to 20 percent. Room to Read aims to reach 40 million children by 2025 and we have a bold vision for the next five years. We will be focused on achieving the following milestones as we strive towards our overall goal of ending illiteracy and gender inequality.

  • Transforming the lives of children through education in at least ten new countries with a focus on increasing our footprint in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • Creating children’s books in at least five more languages, while expanding content in the 42 languages we already publish in. You can view existing storybooks in our digital library, Literacy Cloud.
  • Increasing the number of girls reached with our Girls’ Education Program by 400%.