Reading in the City
Reading in the City is offered once a week after school (September to mid-March) and is aimed at Grade 3-5 students who attend three schools in the Queen Street West neighbourhood. In each weekly after-school session, children are involved in storytelling, art, one-on-one reading, and lots of fun games aimed at encouraging a love of learning through reading and writing. Reading in the City is facilitated by volunteers and Teacher Candidates from York University’s Faculty of Education. Older children (some who’ve been through the program) are also involved as mentors, supporting the participants and TCs as well as gaining valuable leadership experience.
Writing in the City
Writing in the City is also offered once a week after school from September to mid-March. It is aimed at Grade 6 students from the same neighbourhood schools. Writing in the City is a creative-writing workshop run by a professional writer. Through drama games, art, music, storytelling, creative movement and writing prompts, the children explore the basics of creative writing—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, dialogue, detail, voice and more. The second half of the year is project-based and the children complete at least one story or piece to share with the group.
Filming in the City
Filming in the City was a two-week summer camp for 10-12 year olds that ran in the summer of 2011. Children in the camp made 90-second films based on Newbery Award–winning books and submitted them to a New York Public Library contest. Camp leaders used games, storyboarding, and inspiring workshops with local actors and directors to explore the meaning of the books and figure out how to dramatize them in film. The children then used simple cameras and computer editing software to create three 90-second films. Click here to see the amazing films they made. We hope to run a similar film program again. Contact us if you have ideas about funding.