During Alternative Reading Week (ARW), hundreds of U of T students immerse themselves in three days of volunteering with local community organizations. Students make meaningful contributions, build relationships and learn more about the City of Toronto.
ARW takes place during both fall and winter reading weeks. You can participate in one or both.
The theme for 2019-2020 was Learn With, Learn From and Grow With. Learn With encourages participants to respect and appreciate the knowledge held in the communities where we volunteer and come from. Learn From is a respectful approach to the work that honours reciprocity. Grow With refers to the continual work of respecting different kinds of knowledge and growing in that knowledge.
Program EligibilityAll U of T students, including graduate and international students
How The Program Works
You can participate in ARW in three different ways: as a participant, a project leader or as a mentor project leader.
Join us for the three days of Alternative Reading Week! Pick a project, get matched with a group of fellow students and a project leader, and work with one of our community partners.
Our community of project leaders make possible over 28 projects every year! Did you enjoy participating in ARW last year? Join us again, lead a project and be a part of our community of project leaders! This is an opportunity to get more involved with ARW and develop your leadership skills. We invite you to join us and build your leadership skills, community building skills and have a whole lot of fun along the way.
Applications are open! Register for an interview on Saturday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. to express your interest in being a project leader in the Alternative Reading Week program for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Mentor project leader
Continue to grow with us by sharing your project leader experiences with our new project leaders, and get a chance to work behind-the-scenes to make ARW happen! Mentor project leaders help facilitate training for other project leaders. They share their knowledge and support others as we learn together.
Email Amina Farah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a mentor project leader.
Step 1: Register for Alternative Reading Week. Registration is now closed.
Step 2: Once registered, you will pick a project from one of these four sub-themes: Youth Engagement, Art-Based Projects, Planning, Research or Program Support, Community Engagement and Outreach. Projects are now full.
Step 3: After you register and select a project, take note of the dates and times for ARW orientation and project participation. Dates and times may be different for each project. Attendance is mandatory.
- Friday, February 7, 2020: Orientation, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. You must be registered in a project to attend orientation.
- Day 1: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
- Registration and welcome at Earth Sciences Centre Auditorium 10 – 11:30 a.m.
- Lunch and travel to projects, 12 – 1 p.m.
- Participate in projects and reflection, 1 – 5 p.m.
- Day 2: Wednesday, February 19, 2020: Participate in projects and reflection, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Day 3: Thursday, February 20, 2020: Participate in projects and reflection, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Registration for Winter 2020 Alternative Reading Week is now closed.
If you didn’t register, check out Community Days for more opportunities to connect with your community.
Considerations & ExceptionsYour participation in ARW not only contributes positively to a community-identified priority, but through it you may also:
- Deepen your sense of community on campus.
- Work collaboratively with a group of other U of T students.
- Apply and develop your unique skills and knowledge.
- Engage with social dynamics and issues in our city.
- Contribute positively to a community-identified priority.
- Explore your identity and perspectives as they relate to the broader Toronto community.
- Build your resume and your Co-Curricular Record (CCR).