Literacy is about more than reading; the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute is critical to your health, employment, community participation, personal finances, political involvement, health and safety, and so much more.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver coordinates several literacy development programs in New Westminster. Together with Decoda Literacy Solutions, we partner with community literacy task forces and local organizations to support the work of Literacy Outreach Coordinators across the province.

In New Westminster, the Literacy New Westminster Committee supports the work of FSGV’s Literacy Outreach Coordinator to build awareness for the importance of literacy and support in the development of literacy programs for children, youth, adults, seniors, families, and the general community. 


Financial Empowerment

Our Financial Empowerment program helps people become more financially literate, access government benefits, and make the most of their money. We do this by providing free, trauma-informed support in English, French, Mandarin, Farsi, Cantonese, Spanish, and Vietnamese, including 1:1 coaching and tax filing clinics.

Learn More


Physical Literacy, Arts, Nature & Science (PLANS) is a free program for children ages 2-5 years old and their parents/caregivers. PLANS encourages children to gain knowledge about their surroundings, develop cognitive and social skills, improve attention and focus, and develop a sense of care and respect for the natural world. This program is offered in partnership with FSGV, the Lower Mainland Purpose Society and the City of New Westminster.

Funded by The Vancouver Sun’s annual Raise-a-Reader literacy campaign. Contact your local Literacy Outreach coordinator to learn more.


StoryWalks® is an outdoor program that encourages caregivers and their young children to explore and observe nature, participate in fun engaging circle times, and make new friends. A StoryWalk® is a deconstructed book with pages scattered throughout a green space. It encourages movement between pages and uses physical prompts to get the participant from one page to the next. 

Funded by The Vancouver Sun’s annual Raise-a-Reader literacy campaign. Contact your local Literacy Outreach coordinator to learn more.


Community Resources

Kids New West connects families in New Westminster with other families, community service providers, information, resources and events. Visit Kids New West or download our Community Resources guide for information about a variety of programs happening right here in New West.

Download the PDF

Book Distribution 

FSGV encourages reading and literacy by distributing books to children across all FSGV programs, as well as at community events throughout the year. Contact us to learn more.

Literacy Definitions

What does literacy mean? Learn all about the different kinds of literacy with these handy definitions.

Download the PDF

“Literacy not only plays an important role in our everyday activities, it aims to improve quality of life at home, at work and in the community. Lack of literacy skills can keep people in a cycle of poverty.”

– Maylen Crespo, Literacy Outreach Coordinator


The New Westminster Literacy Committee is made up of volunteer representatives from across New Westminster. The group meets regularly to network, discuss literacy, plan upcoming activities, and collaborate with other literacy groups. As needed, subcommittees are formed to work on specific projects or ideas. 
The Committee creates and executes an annual Literacy Plan, advises and makes recommendations for activities, and promotes awareness for the importance of literacy in New Westminster. 
Decisions are made by meeting attendees and must reach consensus. Every effort is made to provide all members an opportunity to take part in key decisions.




Contact us

Maylen Crespo
Literacy Outreach Coordinator, Community Education and Development Services