Another fall reading week has come and gone all too quickly. Does anyone else feel like they could use another week or two? While some may have spent the week packing in as many Fall festivities as possible, lounging around the house or actually catching up on readings that were pushed aside due to mid-term papers and exams, other students were giving back to the local community during the Brock Alternative Reading Week.
Brock Alternative Reading Week is an event hosted through Student Life and Community Experience (SLCE) during the Fall and Winter reading weeks. This year’s three-day event from Wednesday, Oct. 15 to Friday, Oct. 17, offered students the opportunity to explore the Niagara Region while helping the community through volunteering, as well as the chance to further develop their team building skills. Students that were looking for a gateway to exhibit and improve their leadership skills did so through becoming a site leader at one of three locations.
As this event also serves to shine a light on the community, SLCE partnered with and provided volunteers for the following organizations:
Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara: helping to improve literacy rates and learning experiences for those with learning disabilities. Volunteers helped to clean the office space and also prepared after school learning literacy kits for children.
Alzheimer’s Society: spreading awareness and educating people about those individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Students that volunteered at this location helped to organize and clean the office space, as well as participating in light gardening around the grounds.
Gillian’s Place: an on-campus shelter for endangered women and children in St. Catharines. The volunteers folded and tagged scarves for their “Purple Scarf ” campaign coming up in November.
Third-year Political Science student and SLCE’s Service Learning Assistant Angela Mott participated in last year’s Alternative Reading Week Abroad initiative that takes place during the February reading week, and from a coordinator standpoint this year, she was happy to experience what it’s like to be behind-the-scenes.
“Seeing students who participated in every day of the event this year is awesome and their dedication is inspiring. Some students bring along friends to volunteer with as well, and that’s nice to see them sharing their experience with their peers,” said Mott. This year’s Brock Alternative Reading Week had 40 students participating over the three days, clocking in a total of 200 hours of giving back to the community. February’s Alternative Reading Week will have similar activities taking place within St. Catharines and Niagara with more community partners to provide students with variety in the locations at which they can volunteer. For students looking to dip their feet in travelling internationally, the Winter reading week also provides students the opportunity to spend their time building a house in South Carolina in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge. Student Life is currently accepting applications and conducting interviews with students interested in this event.
Are you interested in getting involved with Student Life and Community Experience? Does the February Alternative Reading Week sound like an event you would like to participate in? Visit experiencebu.brocku.ca for more information.