Word-Play is a community-based non-profit run out of TYPE books in downtown Toronto. We work with school-age children to foster a love of reading and writing. All of our after-school programs are based on the belief that children learn through play and that when reading and writing are fun, amazing things can happen.
Our approach involves peer support and collaboration between junior, intermediate, senior and post-secondary students. We use a wide range of activities in our programs—including drama games, art, music, storytelling and creative movement. Our instructors and volunteers emphasize building relationships with the children, and creating an environment that is safe, supportive, creative and inclusive.
Word-Play was started and is run by many dedicated volunteers—teachers, writers, booksellers, retirees and university students, among them. We work closely with Teacher Candidates (TCs) in the York University Faculty of Education who are required to have placements in a community setting as part of their first year of study. The TCs play an active role in Word-Play programs.
Word-Play operates out of the basement gallery of independent bookstore TYPE books on Queen Street in downtown Toronto, thanks to the generous support of owners Samara Walbohm and Joanne Saul.
We currently offer our programs only to children who attend three schools in the Queen Street West neighbourhood and who are identified by their teachers. All of our programs are offered free of charge.