Community Action Projects
Community Action Projects (CAPs) are long-term volunteer opportunities with local non-profit and public sector organizations in the City of Toronto. Rooted in principles of reciprocity and respectful relationships, your participation contributes to community-identified priorities and goals. Not only do Community Action Projects benefit the communities around you, but they also allow you to:
- Gain valuable hands-on experience in a field that interests you and explore careers in the community
- Develop your communication, time management, leadership and critical thinking skills
- Explore social dynamics and issues in our city
- Learn to develop a reflective practice and deepen your understanding of yourself
- Learn from diverse perspectives and knowledge from all walks of life
- Build your co-curricular record (CCR)
Community Action Projects are open to all University of Toronto students.
How the program works
There are three projects available: City Adult Learning Centre (TDSB), Story Planet and SciHigh (Mount Sinai Hospital). See Program Activities for more details.
- Register online (registration below).
- Attend a mandatory orientation. Orientations happen four times a year, but you are only required to attend one session.
- Volunteer at the community partner site (all training is provided).
- Attend a reflection session, where you can meet other student volunteers, learn from the experiences of others and think more deeply about your experience.
If you wish to obtain co-curricular record validation, you must attend an orientation, participate in your placement and attend at least one reflection session (or complete at least one written assignment)
Program activities & schedules
- City Adult Learning Centre (CALC)
City Adult Learning Centre (CALC) is a secondary school in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) that offers a tutoring program for adult students who are working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
In your role as a volunteer tutor, you can help CALC students build their skills as you assist them with one or more of the following subjects: senior math, biology, chemistry, accounting and English. There is a particular need for tutors with senior math and science knowledge.
Time Commitment: CALC’s tutoring program runs daily (Monday to Friday) from 2:40 – 3:00 p.m. The time commitment is flexible, but typically students volunteer for at least one shift per week. Volunteers will receive a complimentary lunch since the program occurs over lunch time.
Location: 1 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON (2 minute walk from Broadview Station)
- SciHigh (Mount Sinai Hospital)
The SciHigh program was developed by Mount Sinai in 1997 to promote science to young students across Toronto. The goal of the program is to reinforce students' curiosity and show them how cool science can be. SciHigh hopes to encourage students to retain science course options throughout their academic studies and ultimately to consider science as a career.
SciHigh is looking for students that would like to share their enthusiasm and love of science. You will give presentations on various science topics to students from kindergarten to grade 12.
Training is provided and new volunteers are paired with experienced volunteers who will answer all your questions and lead you through your first presentations as a team.
Time commitment: Volunteer shifts and time commitment are flexible. SciHigh is looking for volunteers for presentations during the school day, evenings and weekends. You only need to sign up for the shifts you are interested in and available for.
Location: Schools and community groups are located throughout the GTA. Typically, volunteers meet at Mount Sinai Hospital and then travel to the site together by taxi or Uber. SciHigh covers all travel costs.
- Story Planet
Story Planet is a non-profit organization that empowers children and youth from grades 1–12 in under-resourced communities through creative workshops that include art, writing and digital media. Story Planet’s workshops complement the Ontario curriculum in literacy and language development. Early grades explore the visual side of storytelling, while older students write stories, scripts, or plays.
Get involved with Story Planet to help children and youth foster confidence, communication skills, belonging, creativity and more! You will provide individualized support to the children and youth, while an artist/facilitator leads the activities in the workshop.
Time commitment: Volunteer shifts and time commitment are flexible. You only need to sign up for the workshops you are interested in and available for.
Location: 269 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON (workshops also take place in various schools and libraries across the city)
September 13, 5 – 7 p.m. OISE, Room 5160 (252 Bloor St W, Toronto) – SESSION FULL
January 17, 5 – 7 p.m. OISE, Room 5150 (252 Bloor St W, Toronto) – SESSION FULL
February 28, 5 – 7 p.m. OISE, Room 5150 (252 Bloor St W, Toronto)
March 27, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Koffler House, Room 207 (569 Spadina Ave.)
Join us for an evening of reflection, conversation, and refreshments to celebrate the culmination of your community action project. Connect with fellow volunteers and reflect on your experiences in the community! Register now for the Winter Reflection.
If you wish to obtain CCR validation but cannot come to at least one of the reflection sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you register, please attend the orientation session you selected. A reminder email for the orientation will be sent to you via email one week before the session. At orientation, you will learn more about Community Action Projects and meet our community partners and other University of Toronto students!
In order to participate in Story Planet and City Adult Learning Centre, volunteers must complete a Police Reference Check and be cleared. This is known as Police Reference Check & Vulnerable Sector Search (PRC-VSS) clearance, and is standard procedure for anyone working with vulnerable people. The expedited version (3-day processing time) of the Police Reference Check is available for those who are eligible. In order to make our programs accessible for all and reduce barriers to participation, the cost of your Police Reference Check is reimbursable.
Note: Story Planet requires students to submit a supplementary application and/or attend an interview with the organization. The Police Reference Check will be completed after the interview. Additional details will be provided at orientation.
No Police Reference Check is required for SciHigh.