The Centre for Student Engagement (CSE) hosted their annual Alternative Reading Week that ran from February 21 to 23, where student volunteers worked with local community groups on various service-learning projects.

ARW is a tri-campus initiative, where each Student Life department arranges their respective campus community projects.

Alysha Ferguson, the student development officer of Community Engagement at CSE told The Medium that a total of 100 UTM student volunteers took part in the week. Wali Tahir, one of the organizers for ARW stated in an email to The Medium that there were 24 project leaders this year, with most projects having two leaders assigned to them.

Project themes included sustainability, event coordination, literacy, and physical community development, and food projects. Two new projects themes were added to this year’s reading week, one about literacy, which relates to reading and writing, and the other was arts-based, encouraging engagement with community partners through mediums of art.

Ferguson explained that 18 projects were developed in collaboration with: Animal Aid Foundation; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Caledon Dufferin Victim Services; City of Mississauga; Habitat for Humanity; Let’s Get Together; Many Feathers; Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Peel-Dufferin Chapter; Museums of Mississauga; Safe City Mississauga; Seva Food bank; Studio 89; and The Dam Youth Drop-in Centre.

According to the CSE website, ARW is a chance for students to “learn more about, and to understand the local issues within the Region of Peel.”

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