Alternative Reading Week

Alternative Reading Week (ARW) is a short term 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.

Fall 2017 ARW

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (during Reading Week)

Registration opens Friday, September 29, 2017 at 12:00PM until capacity is filled.      

  • Please note there may be additional training provided for sites by each organization.
  • You must attend one (1) mandatory Fall 2017 Alternative Reading Week Volunteer Training and Orientation prior to Fall 2017 ARW.
  • Events are subject to change based on UTSC and the partnering organizations discretion.

ARW Partners

Community Gardens, Malvern Family Resource Centre (max. 9 volunteers)

Malvern Family Resource Centre is a multi-service social service agency providing a variety of programs to residents in the Scarborough North and Scarborough Rouge Park ridings. The Community Gardens initiative is a resident led program that encourages people to grow and learn about gardening. It is an opportunity for the community to grow vegetables for the family. Volunteers will assist in harvesting crops and prepping the garden beds for the winter season.


The Snoezelen Room- Therapeutic Program Development for Dementia Patients, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities Adult Centre (max. 5 volunteers)

SCHC offers 38 programs at 11 sites which range from pre-natal care to seniors programs, youth outreach, to Hospice and Bereavement care. Included is the Adult Day program meant for seniors living with dementia, a disability, and those who are frail and socially isolated. Students will work on further developing and implementing therapeutic programs of sensory stimulation for Snoezelen Therapy. This kind of therapy helps create a calm or relaxed atmosphere especially for those who have challenging behaviors as a result of Dementia. Student volunteers will assist with conducting research and creating a binder of Snoezelen therapy programs as well as providing step by step methods of sensory stimulation programs.


Food Bank, Dorset Park Community Hub (max. 5 volunteers)

ACSA addresses a variety of issues including systemic poverty, hunger, housing, homelessness, unemployment, accessibility and social isolation. Over the years ACSA has been funded by all levels of government, several foundations, schools, local faith communities, and The United Way of Greater Toronto. Its strength remains in the original concept: To act as a bridge between people who need help and those who can provide it.

Volunteer 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

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


Food and Clothing Bank, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities (max. 11 volunteers)

This site is encourage for mentors and mentees of the First Year Experience Program and the First Generation Program.

SCHC is multi-service organization that is committed to meeting the diverse holistic health needs of individuals, families and communities within Scarborough. It is a client-centred, integrated, engaged organization that continues to work closely with community members. Volunteers will work to prepare and provide food/clothing supports for individuals accessing the social support programs by assisting with item preparation and distribution, performing quality assurance checks, communicating respectfully and maintaining confidentiality among other tasks.

*Volunteers will be required to lift and move items.


After School Program Support, East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club (max. 5 volunteers)

The East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club is a Child and Youth multi-service agency. The after-school program involves activities and initiatives that touch on cognitive, physical, social, language, emotional and leadership skill development in children. Volunteers will assist staff with delivering planned events and activities for children 6 -13 years. 

*This program begins in the afternoon.


Sunflower Development Services (max. 9 volunteers)

Sunflower Developmental Services is a Day Program that is focused on providing support services to individuals who are intellectually disabled and seniors. We believe in advocating for individuals and their families in order to develop strengths and acceptance in society. We provide and create a variety of individualized programs to meet the changing needs and developmental milestones of the individuals we serve. Volunteers if this project wiill be working with Adults with special needs in various activities, such as reach and writing.