New numeracy program aims to help Canadians build much-needed math skills

National literacy organization ABC Life Literacy Canada today announced the launch of its newest program, ABC Everyday Numbers. ABC Everyday Numbers is a numeracy program that offers free resources and workshops to adult learners looking to improve their math skills.

The Government of Canada’s Skills for Success model defines numeracy as the ability to find, use, and report mathematical information presented through words, numbers, symbols, and graphics. Numeracy skills are used in daily life such as figuring out how many minutes until a train departs, increasing a recipe to serve extra guests, and checking that the correct change was received after a purchase.

According to the 2013 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), just 13 per cent of Canadian adults rank proficient in numeracy, which means they can understand complex mathematical information and work with mathematical arguments and models. Conversely, 55 per cent of Canadians score at the three lowest levels of the assessment. An individual at the lowest level will be able to carry out simple processes such as counting, sorting, and performing basic arithmetic operations with whole numbers. Unsuitable numeracy skills impact us financially, socially and professionally, and it may even affect our health and well-being.

ABC Everyday Numbers aims to increase Canadians’ numeracy skills and math confidence through free resources, online courses, and workshops. The first workbook titled “Playing with patterns” is currently available and additional workbooks, and online courses on the ABC Skills Hub, will launch in the following months. The program is also available for adult literacy practitioners who are teaching math skills and may not be trained foundational math instructors. Practitioners who want to bring ABC Everyday Numbers to their community, can sign up to host workshops, receive printed workbooks, and access online facilitator training.

“With ABC Everyday Numbers, we’re bringing math to life through clear, easy-to-understand resources that teach introductory math principles in real-life scenarios,” says Alison Howard, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “Canadians are struggling with numeracy skills, and our goal with the program is to give adults the skills needed to use math confidently in their daily lives.”

ABC Everyday Numbers was developed with support from Manulife in alignment with their Impact Agenda and commitment to driving inclusive economic opportunities.

For more information, to download free resources, or to host a workshop in your community, visit