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Partners and participants from the 2018 Alternative Reading Week program

Partners and participants from the 2018 Alternative Reading Week program.

Make a difference right here in Winnipeg with Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg

Apply now for Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg!

December 3, 2018 — 

Apply now for Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg!

Are you looking for something to do this winter Reading Week? Join Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg to gain insight into the work of local non-profit organizations, and implement a hands-on project that meets community needs.

This year, Community Service-Learning is introducing a new Alternative Reading Week engagement model. “In addition to the regular Reading Week engagement, students will have the chance to participate in a longer engagement option,” explains Nicki Ferland, Service-Learning Coordinator. “Students can build deeper relationships with their team members, community partners and the communities they’re serving. Longer engagements are strongly encouraged for certain community partners.”

The Alternative Reading Week model connects students with community to enhance their academic training. During Reading Week, students engage in three days of project-based work with local non-profit agencies to explore their role in community, and learn firsthand about social justice challenges and solutions in Winnipeg. This year, placement agencies include new and returning partners, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, Two Spirited Peoples of Manitoba, Wahbung Abinoonjiaag, West Broadway Youth Outreach, Winnipeg Harvest and others. Reading Week starts with Monday FunDay!, includes three placement days with a community partner agency, and ends at Winnipeg Harvest, where students learn more about poverty, food security and other challenges.

Before Reading Week, students will participate in Community Engagement Training to develop their knowledge and skills in community development, plan their Reading Week projects with local non-profits, and begin a dialogue that will be carried on throughout the program. Guided reflections before and during Reading Week help students deepen their understanding of development challenges in Winnipeg, discover how to think critically about existing issues, and make connections between their formal academic training and their experiences at local organizations.

“Last year, the feedback from students and agencies was really positive – students had fun, developed leadership and teamwork skills, and demonstrated civic engagement and social responsibility. Most importantly, students who participated helped non-profits meet their communities’ needs,” says Ferland. For example, last year’s participants were able to help long-time partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg serve 30 more children in the community. This helped the non-profit increase the overall children served by 5-10%.

Community Service-Learning offers free local programs for students interested in applying their knowledge outside the classroom and gaining relevant hands-on experience in the community. ARW Winnipeg is offered in partnership with the University of Manitoba Student Union. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for recognition on their Co-Curricular Record.

Apply now on UMCommunityLink. Applications for the program are due December 15, 2018.



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