Alternative Reading Week

Alternative Reading Week. Two students working on a project.

Registration is now OPEN! Sign up here:

What is Alternative Reading Week?

Alternative Reading Week (ARW) is a three-day initiative where students are given a chance to learn more about, and to understand the local issues within the Region of Peel during the Winter Reading Week. Within small teams guided by project leaders, student volunteers work on projects that revolve around the needs of different organizations within the community. ARW is a great way for students to start their journey to becoming involved in volunteering and be a leader within the community.

ARW is an opportunity for student volunteers and community organizations to mutually benefit from working together on community projects. Meet like-minded individuals and network with people within the industry while gaining hands-on experience in a field you are passionate about. Students will participate in a project from start to finish and develop skills along the way, such as:

  • Community and civic engagement
  • Decision-making and action
  • Fostering inclusivity and equity
  • Inquiry
  • Knowledge application to daily life
  • Leadership
  • Project management
  • Teamwork


  • Volunteer 7.5 hours per day from Feb. 21st-23rd, 2023 to help with executing a project that meets the challenge of a community-identified issue, working with a team of other student volunteers and an ARW Community Leader.
  • Complete online training modules prior to the experience and an online reflection survey after the experience and add Alternative Reading week to your Co-Curricular Record

Reading Week 2023 Projects

This year, students will be able to choose from in-person and virtual projects to participate in. Students will need to attend the IN-PERSON ARW Impact Fair on February 23rd 2023 from 2 - 4pm at the CCT Atrium. Transportation will be provided for off-campus projects!

The Mississauga Food Bank: Food Fairness
Help reduce food insecurity in Mississauga by creating food packages for the community and assisting in reorganizing the food bank! This project will be conducted in person at the Mississauga Food Bank


Skills Gained:

  • Civic Engagement

  • Community Engagement

  • Organization


St. Rose of Lima: STEAM Workshops

Create exciting and interactive coding workshops to inspire elementary school students.


Skills Gained:

  • Design Thinking

  • Teaching

  • Curriculum development


Varman’s Smile Foundation: Community Mental Health Workshops
Make an impact in your community by facilitating and assessing mental health workshops of diverse cultural communities, students and people. This project will be held in person at UTM!


Skills Gained:

  • Professionalism

  • Communication

  • Health Promotion

  • Survey


Caledon Dufferin Victims Services: Diversity Research
Raise Awareness by developing a diversity dashboard by conducting research on resources available for minority groups.


Skills Gained:

  • Research

  • Community Engagement

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


The Riverwood Conservancy: Speak up for Nature
Make your voice be heard in creating the next 3-year strategic plan for Riverwood Conservancy and help connect students with nature conservation. This project will be conducting in-person at the Riverwood Conservancy.

Skills Gained:

  • Advocacy

  • Design Thinking

  • Time Management


Let’s Get Together: Tech4All
Get involved with different projects within Let’s Get Together’s Tech4All Program - a computer refurbishment program that addresses the digital divide and supports their mission of making learning equitable and education accessible. Increase access to technology and reduce electronic waste by make short fun promotional videos for Let’s Get Together. You will be educating your community in electronic recycling! This project will be conducting in-person at the Let’s Get Together Hub.

Skills Gained:

  • Advocacy
  • Marketing
  • Video/ Graphic Design


Let’s Get Together: High School Transitions
Transitions are never easy, especially for today’s high school students looking to pursue post-secondary education. Be a part of the solution and support high school students by making education more accessible to all! You will be created self-guided ‘tutorials’ for students to engage with and better understand post-secondary education systems.

Skills Gained:

  • Advocacy
  • Civic engagement
  • Video/ Graphic Design
  • Research


Let’s Get Together: Critical Minds
Create fun, engaging and relatable materials for self-guided online tutorials for high school students that foster critical thinking and self-confidence in students for a variety of situations. These materials will be posted onto the Let’s Get Together website to ensure that all students are able to get the extra help they need without worrying about the extra financial burden.

Skills Gained:

  • Design Thinking
  • Civic engagement
  • Video/ Graphic Design 
  • Web development


Eden Food for Change: Coldest Night of the Year
Eden Food For Change is hosting their annual fundraiser and they need your help promoting it! We're looking for creative volunteers that can create social media/ promotional material for the Coldest Night of the Year and for the organization. 


Skills Gained:

  • Social Media/ Marketing

  • Community Engagement

  • Video/ Graphic Design



The Dam: Drop-In Program
Join us in organizing and facilitating our after-school Drop-In program! Help us prepare snacks, connect with our youth, engage in games and activities and make a difference in our community! Volunteers will be conducting a program debrief to assess the impact of the Drop-in program and determine points of improvement! 


Skills Gained:

  • Mentoring

  • Community Engagement

  • Facilitation


Building Partnerships

To develop new initiatives, we encourage partners in the community to connect with us to explore ways we can work together to provide these opportunities at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and in the local community. We invite schools, parents and families, local community organizations, and UTM community mentors and student groups to explore how we can work together. If you are interested in partnering with the Centre for Student Engagement on Alternative Reading Week Program, please fill out the provided form

Become an ARW Community Leader  

Interested in volunteering for a Community Leader role for ARW? Consider registering for the Community Leadership Development Program, a full-year program focused on helping students develop skills in team building, facilitation, conflict resolution, leadership awareness and more!  

Learn more about this program!

Registration Information 

Registration open and will close on February 15th 2023!

Please fill out the following form to sign up for Alternative Reading Week 2023:

Sign up now to secure a spot in your top choice!


For all questions and feedback regarding Alternative Reading Week, please contact:

Jivi Ratnam
Community Innovation Coordinator