How to Make Your 2017 Outrageously Nifty

By super-volunteer Mike J.


The aliens have landed, and their mission is: fun!


If, in the New Year, you want to get involved in your community and have a positive impact and whole lotta fun, “Become a Literacy Mentor” should be your resolution of choice. Whether or not you’re into resolutions, we’re confident you’ll be surprised (and ebullient, proud, and inspired) by what you can achieve in just a few hours.

In-school programs are 1.5 hours a week and run for four to five weeks, and after-school programs run for 1.5 hours for 3 months. Most programs end with the kids’ stories published in a professionally designed and printed chapbook.


Rainbow Moustache chapbook - perfect accoutrement for Movember


This New Year, the Writers’ Exchange makes no demands that you give up chocolate or hit the gym three times a week. Instead, it welcomes you to make good on that aspect of New Year’s resolutions many of us find attractive: to willfully bring meaning into your life. 

And it just so happens that Writers’ Exchange has some pretty mad skills when it comes to turning bold ideas into jaw-dropping reality, like that time when…


The kids invented a Reality-Protection Button (don’t we all really need one of these sometimes?)


Or when the SlurpieTron helped us get out of an unreasonable homework assignment!



Through support, encouragement, enthusiasm to the rafters, and understanding, volunteers create safe spaces for kids to explore creativity and build confidence in themselves. Each volunteer has their own reason for participating. Check out Sahiti’s inspiring comment:

"Self-expression through reading and writing is so meaningful to me because it provides the opportunity for kids to develop their own unique perspectives and to confidently shape their own opinions as they grow up."



Feeling inspired? You too can share your passion for literacy with inner-city kids! Deadline to apply to be a Writers’ Exchange literacy mentor for the winter 2017 term is December 16th.

If you can contribute an hour or two a week, love kids, storytelling, art, writing, reading, being creative, or just being yourself, you already have everything you need. 

Don’t forget! December 16th!

Here are the after-school program details for the winter term:

881 E Hastings
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Cook and Bake Mondays, Grades 4 - 7

Terrific-Kid Tuesdays, Grades 1 - 3

Wacky-Kid Wednesdays, Grades 1 - 3

Challenge Thursdays, Grades 4 - 7

Queen Alexandra Elementary
1300 East Broadway
3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Graphic Novel Club Mondays, Grades 4 - 7

Tremendous Tuesdays, Grades 1 - 3

Wordy Wednesdays, Grades 1 - 3

Weird Science Wednesdays, Grades 5 - 7

Thrilling Thursdays, Grades 4 - 7


And the in-school program details (more in-schools to be confirmed in the new year):

Tuesdays, January 24th - February 21st, 11am - 12:10pm