Reading Week Projects 2010

at Queen Alexander School2010 was a special year for the Reading Week 2010 Community Service Learning (CSL) Projects, as it saw an unprecedented number of UBC students involved, making the program the largest of its kind in Canada. As a result of UBC extending its one-week reading break to two weeks, over 450 students worked alongside almost 2500 elementary students in 20 different projects at 16 schools – a record in itself. In its 9th year, this initiative coincided with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, resulting in a number of projects using the Olympics as a vehicle for fun and engaging learning activities.

In addition to UBC students, 24 SAP Canada and UBC employees teamed up to lead the projects. As part of a unique program called the UBC Community Leadership Program, a joint collaboration between the UBC Learning Exchange, Student Development, and HR Organizational Development & Learning these leaders were trained through a series of interactive workshops to enable them to mentor UBC students to implement the projects. In partnership with UBC Let’s Talk Science another cohort of 6 science students, mainly graduate students, were trained to lead science-based projects with UBC students as well.

Forty UBC students were trained to act as Student Leaders to assist Project Leaders with the planning and implementation of the projects, giving them an opportunity to learn and lead, while bringing their knowledge of the student community into focus for the Project Leaders.

Project Examples:

Projects completed in 2010 involved Olympic themes of sport, literacy, fine arts, and science, as well as non-Olympic themes like sustainability and health. The following are a few examples of the projects:

  • Investigations into Chemistry, Strathcona Elementary: Grade 6 and 7 students took part in hands-on chemistry experiments to understand the science behind everyday phenomenon such as acid rain, apple browning, and magnetism.
  • Olympic Activities, Quilchena Elementary: All students from kindergarten to grade 7 learned about different types of Olympic and Paralympic winter sports, created their own torches and mascots, and ending the project with a school-wide closing ceremony.
  • Substance Misuse Prevention, Laura Secord Elementary: UBC students worked with the grade 4 class to share facts, participate in class discussions and to create a presentation about substance misuse for various substances such as tobacco and alcohol.
  • Science of Sport, Queen Victoria Annex: Students from kindergarten to grade 5 rotated through 12 interactive activities to learn about the science of sport. With the help of UBC students, they explored muscle types, the need for nutrients, and recording personal reaction times while doing sports.