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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
October 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Laurier staff member Cathie Hughes Meyer with students in Mexico, Alternative Reading Week '08
Laurier staff member Cathie Hughes Meyer with students in Mexico, Alternative Reading Week '08

Headlines (Campus Updates)

Laurier Inspires

Donations needed for Alternative Reading Week

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jan 20/10

Laurier students are busy collecting donations for the third annual Alternative Reading Week trip, where they will volunteer in Costa Rica working on several community service initiatives.

This year’s trip takes place from Feb. 11 to Feb. 19. Fifteen students and four team leaders will join local service agency Solidarity in Action to help communities in San Jose and the province of Limon.

Staff and faculty donations of educational supplies, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes and sports equipment will help make the trip an even greater success. 

Some of the placements in San Jose include working at a home for the elderly, renovating a house, teaching English and leading educational activities in a school.

“This is the first time we’re trying a multi-faceted social justice approach,” says Adam Lawrence, diversity coordinator and one of the trip’s organizers. “Hopefully this will give us a better scope of all the things a community needs.”

Laurier students will also volunteer with the Pan para mi Hermano (Bread for my Brother) program, where they will work alongside Costa Rican students to deliver food to homeless people in downtown San Jose.

In the province of Limon, students will prepare a campaign to educate children about health and dental hygiene. They will also spend time planting trees and exploring the rainforest.

And that’s not all. Laurier’s Alternative Reading Week has “a strong reflection component,” says Lawrence.

“Students spend one to three hours a night while on the trip working on structured reflection exercises to maximize learning. What did the day’s situation mean, economically and culturally?”

Students are then asked to take their experience and apply it to social justice issues in Kitchener-Waterloo.

“This isn’t just a trip, it’s more of an experience,” says Drew Piticco, manager of Laurier’s Student Leadership Centre. “We try to give students as much autonomy as possible, so they can see it all with their own eyes, and when they come back home, take what they’ve learned and apply it to life here.”

If you are interested in donating to Alternative Reading Week, contact Piticco at or ext. 3704.

Needed supplies are:

  • Educational supplies (pencils, pens, notepaper, paper, coloring books, erasers, chalk, etc.)
  • New, easy-to-dry towels (preferably a light colour but not white)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Glucose monitor
  • Sports equipment (soccer balls, baseballs, baseball gloves, etc.)

The two other team leaders are Kathryn McIntosh, coordinator, Student Leadership Centre and Laura Sheridan, WLUSU president. Alternative Reading Week is organized by the Office for Student Diversity and the Student Leadership Centre.


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