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Students lending a hand during Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg

Students lending a hand during Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg

New Alternative Reading Week model connects students with community to enhance their education

Applications now being accepted

December 12, 2017 — 

Are you looking for something to do this 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.

“We’re trying something new this year,” explains Nicki Ferland, Service-Learning Coordinator. “We’ve combined our Community Leadership and Alternative Reading Week programs to give students the opportunity to plan and implement hands-on projects with local agencies.” 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. Partner agencies include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties, Mount Carmel Clinic, N.E.E.D.S. Inc., Circle of Life Thunderbird House and West Broadway Youth Outreach. Reading Week starts with Monday FunDay! and ends at Winnipeg Harvest, where students learn more about poverty, food security and other challenges.

Before Reading Week, students will participate in the Community Leadership Development Program 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. Alternative Reading Week 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 January 9, 2018.

Deadline extended for Alternative Reading Week Belize. Applications are now being accepted until January 9, 2018.

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