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.


ARW Fall 2018 (October 10, 2018)

Important information:

  • All prospective (non-confirmed) Alternative Reading Week Fall 2018 participants must fill out the Volunteer Intake Form
    • Filling out the above form does not guarantee you a spot in Winter 2018 Alternative Reading Week.
  • You must attend one (1) MANDATORY Fall 2018 Alternative Reading Week Volunteer Training and Orientation during the following times:
    • September 27, 2018 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in BV 380 (Ralph Campbell Lounge)
    • October 1, 2018 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at BV 363
      • More specific details will be disclosed at these sessions
  • Registration is open from September 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm to October 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm
    • Please select only one (1) of the sites
    • If you must cancel, please cancel your CLN event RSVP and contact
  • Regardless of chosen community organization, all students will be meeting on campus at EV-151/152 (Catalyst Centre) to be transported to and from the site for Fall 2018 Alternative Reading Week
  • Events are subject to change based on UTSC and the partnering organizations discretion


Registration opens on September 24, 2018 at 5:00PM

Agincourt Community Services Association – Dorset Park Hub Food Bank (Max. 9)

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.


Preparing the Community Gardens with the Centre for Immigration & Community Services (Max. 11)

Centre for Immigration & Community Services empowers newcomers in settling and integrating as contributing members of Canadian society though diverse, professional, and innovative services. In 2011, the organization opened its own community garden, which is now being prepared for winter. Tasks include cutting down remaining plants, raking leaves, digging flower bulbs, and removing the final harvest.


Restoring the Community Gardens with the Malvern Family Resource Centre  (Max. 9)

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 centre’s community gardens, and the tasks may include: putting community garden plots to bed, removing plant materials, and harvesting produce. Please not that this event is largely outdoors and participants must be prepared for varying weather conditions.


Restoring and Cleaning the Scarborough YMCA Facilities  (Max. 5)

Scarborough Town Centre YMCA offers childcare, camp, health and fitness, employment, new immigrant, and youth programs. The YMCA takes a holistic approach to community health that embodies all aspects of physical, mental and social well-being and engages the community to provide customized programs. Tasks will include restoring and cleaning of Scarborough YMCA facility, covering areas used for programs throughout the building.


Scarborough Arts (Max. 5)

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. 11)

SCHC is 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.


Tree Planting with Friends of the Rouge Watershed (Max. 11)

Friends of the Rouge Watershed is a charitable organization working with volunteers to protect and restore the health and ecological integrity of the Rouge Watershed and Park. Tasks will include: tree planting, filling mulch buckets, mulching around trees, watering and will be followed by hiking on an Interpretive Nature Walk. This site welcomes all students but may be of particular interest to those studying environmental science and biology.

Please check back for new sites!

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.