During ARW week, hundreds of U of T students immerse themselves in three days of volunteering on various projects with local community organizations. Students make meaningful contributions, build relationships and learn more about the City of Toronto. 

Alternative Reading Week (ARW) takes place during the February Reading Week. 

*Our annual ARW is made possible by local community-based organizations. Up to 30 community organizations welcome us to their spaces and communities. 

Register for Alternative Reading Week 2019 


Group of Students smiling with completed artwork projects from ARW 2018


Projects Take a look at 2018 projects. Complete project details will be posted January 2019
Ways to get involved Become a participant, Project Leader, or Lead Project Leader
Registration Register for Alternative Reading Week 2019
Schedule Alternative Reading Week schedule
Benefits Why you should participate in ARW?
Contact us Questions? Contact Amina Farah at amina.farah@utoronto.ca.


Step 1: Look at some of the projects and themes from 2018* in the attached PDF document. Below are the themes for 2018 ARW Projects: 

  • Youth Engagement
  • Art-Based Projects
  • Planning, Research or program Support
  • Community Engagement & Outreach

Step 2: Once you find a project you are interested in, follow registration instructions (below).

Step 3: After registration be sure to note the dates and times for ARW orientation and project participation. Note: Dates and Times may be different for each project. 

*Project details for 2019 will be posted January 2019. 

Ways to get involved


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. (Registration opens in November).

Project Leader - Applications Now Closed 

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.  

Lead Project Leader

Continue to grow with us by sharing your Project Leader experiences with our new PLs, and get a chance to work behind-the-scenes to make ARW happen! Email Amina Farah at amina.farah@utoronto.ca if you are interested in being a Lead Project Leader.


ARW2019 THEME: Learn With, Learn from and Grow With

  • Learn From: Learning from and with our communities is a respectful approach to the work that honors reciprocity.
  • Learn With: Our focus on 'Learn With' is about encouraging participants to respect and appreciate the knowledge held in the communities where we volunteer and come from and
  • Grow With: Finally we work to respect different kinds of knowledge and grow in that knowledge 

Register for Alternative Reading Week 2019 [NOW OPEN] 


Depending on the projects your schedule may vary, but here is what a typical Alternative Reading Week looks like.

Friday, February 1, 2019 
  • 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  | Orientation and Meet your Team, in OISE, 252 Bloor St. West (Auditorium on main floor). 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Registration and welcome in OISE, 252 Bloor St. West (Auditorium on main floor). 

  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch and travel to projects 

  • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Participate in projects * 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Participate in projects*

Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Participate in projects*

Monday, February 26, 2019 
  • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Alternative Reading Week Reflection and Celebration


* Projects may start later than 9:00 a.m. and end later (e.g. 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)


Group of 4 students at a registration table with food


Your participation in ARW not only contributes positively to a community-identified need, but also offers you several benefits: 

  • 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 need. 
  • Explore your identity and perspectives as they relate to the broader Toronto community. 
  • Build your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)


Past Student Experiences 

Group of students sitting on a circular table discussing a project plan


Questions? Contact Amina Farah at amina.farah@utoronto.ca.