Alternative Reading Week

Alternative Reading Week (ARW) is a short term volunteer program that runs annually during the University of Toronto Scarborough's Reading Week. Students learn to explore the concepts of learning through service, leadership for social change, and community development.

Winter 2019 ARW – February 19th-21st,2019

Important Information:

  1. ALL prospective (non-confirmed) Winter 2019 Alternative Reading Week participants must fill out the following Volunteer Intake Form (Filling out the form does not guarantee you a spot in Winter 2019 Alternative Reading Week
  2. You must attend one (1) MANDATORY Winter 2019 Alternative Reading Week Volunteer Training and Orientation during the following times:
  •  Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 from 5-7PM at BV 363
  • Monday, February 11, 2019, from 5-7PM at BV 355

Registrations will open on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 5:00 PM and remain open until Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 11:59 PM

 Please select only one (1) of the sites. Multiple chosen sites will be cancelled.

 If you must cancel, please cancel your CLN event RSVP, and contact:

Regardless of chosen community organization, all students will be meeting at on campus at EV-151/152 (Catalyst Centre) to be transported to and from the site for Day One of Winter 2019 Alternative Reading Week. 

Events are subject to change based on UTSC and the partnering organizations discretion.


Registration Opens: Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 5:00 PM


Site Information and Registration

Agincourt Community Services Association – Dorset Park Hub Food Bank (Max. 7)

Agincourt Community Services Association addresses a variety of issues including systemic poverty, hunger, housing, homelessness, unemployment, accessibility and social isolation. The organization’s concept is to act as a bridge between people who need help and those who can provide it. Tasks for the day include (and are not limited to): unloading delivery trucks, dividing delivery items into smaller parcels, packing and distributing food boxes, communicating effectively and in a respectful manner with clients of the food bank.

*Volunteers should be able to stand for extended periods and lift up to 25lbs using safe lifting and handling techniques.


Dr. Roz’s Healing Clinic (Max. 6)

Dr. Roz’s Healing Place is a center for empowerment and healing that works towards the eradication of violence against women and their children. Through the delivery of innovative programs and services, Dr. Roz’s Healing Place helps empower women to make positive changes through the cultivation of a holistic lifestyle. Tasks at this site will include helping children with homework, planning games and activities around topics of bullying and self-esteem for the children and organizing books and supplies.


East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club (Max. 6)

The Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough has been serving our community since 1956. Each year the Club provides service to over 5,000 children and youth in over 19 locations throughout the East Scarborough community. These programs include licensed childcare, early years programs, before & after school programs, camps, sports/recreation & leadership development. Our vision is to see children and youth in East Scarborough discover and achieve their dreams and grow up to be healthy, successful and active participants in society. Tasks for this site will include Facilitating social recreation and educational programs for children ages 6-12 years and running planned activities while engaging with children participating in programs


KGO Adult Literacy Program (Max. 6)

The KGO Adult Literacy Program supports adults with their reading, writing and math skills. We provide small group classes and one-to-one tutoring. The mission of the KGO Adult Literacy Program is to assist adults in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park community with their reading, writing and math so they are empowered to increase their social, personal and economic capacities, explore new opportunities and initiate change. Tasks will include getting to know KGO, supporting tutoring program and learning adult education principles.


Preparing the Community Gardens with the Centre for Immigration & Community Services (Max. 6)

Centre for Immigration & Community Services empowers newcomers in settling and integrating as contributing members of Canadian society through diverse, professional, and innovative services. In 2011, the organization opened its own community garden, which is now being prepared for winter. Tasks include preparing seedlings, flyer design/distribution, etc.


Scarborough Arts (Max. 6)

Scarborough Arts is a non-profit organization; the only arts organization of its kind specifically serving the Scarborough community. It is one of Toronto's six Local Arts Service Organizations, bringing arts to the community, and community to the arts. This summer the organization installed a giant Scarborough name sign, which will be stored inside over winter. Tasks include organizing space and storage for the Scarborough Sign, taking an inventory of assets, disassembling art structures, and more.


Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities - Food and Clothing Bank (Max. 10)

SCHC is a multi-service organization that is committed to meeting the diverse holistic health needs of individuals, families and communities within Scarborough and works closely with community members to foster partnerships that address needs. Tasks include sorting and organizing the food donation room, unloading donated items from delivery, distributing food items to clients accessing the food support program.

*Volunteers should be able to stand for extended periods and lift up to 25lbs using safe lifting and handling techniques.


Variety Village, Afterschool Program Support (Max. 8)

Variety Village is a sporting and recreation facility for people of all abilities. Through their programs and services, Variety Village makes a profound difference in the spirits and lives of young people with disabilities and their families in the greater Toronto area and across Ontario. Tasks will include assisting with set up and take down, support staff and supervise sports-related activities 


After-School Programming – Native Child and Family Services (Max. 6)

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) was founded in 1986 by concerned members of Toronto’s Native community. The founders were concerned about the high number of children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies and by the issues, such as poverty, addictions, family violence, and homelessness, confronting Native families in the city. The founders were further concerned that while the Native family had many issues before it, few services within the mainstream sector were available to meet the needs of an increasingly voiceless and marginalized community. The founders were guided by a vision that saw the development of a single point of access to a host of needed services all under the control and guidance of the community itself. Important features of such services were that they be family and child focused, holistic in their orientation, integrated, and preventative, with a strong Native cultural base as their foundation. Tasks include supporting cultural and youth centered programming.


Malvern Family Resource Centre - Community Gardens (Max. 12)

Malvern Family Resource Centre is a multi-service social service agency providing a variety of programs and services to residents in the Scarborough North and Scarborough Rouge Park ridings. This agency has been in the community for the past thirty-five years and has experienced steady growth to keep up with the needs of the community. For this project, we will be working on the center's community gardens, and the tasks may include: putting community garden plots to bed, removing plant materials, and harvesting produce. Please note that this event is largely outdoors and participants must be prepared for varying weather conditions.


Are you an East Scarborough Community Partner interested in participating in UTSC’s Alternative Reading Week? Please contact

Interested in participating in future Alternative Reading Week? Complete our community engagement registration form.