Call for Volunteers: Readers and Refugees Program — Spring Session

The spring session of the Readers and Refugees Program will launch at Christie Refugee Welcome Centre and three COSTI Immigration Services locations in Toronto at the beginning of March 2019.

Given the success of the program, it is no surprise that other emergency shelter and transitional housing services in the Greater Toronto Area and across the country are interested in launching the program. IBBY Canada would love to accommodate these requests.  But, to do that, we need more reading volunteers.

Here’s what current volunteers have to say about the program:

“Children return week after week. They call it the ‘reading club’.”

“Kids give the volunteers hugs when they arrive and when they leave.”

“You get to share magical moments like a child’s first snowfall.”

“The consistency and the small group reading experiences make the program rewarding for both the readers and the children.”

So, how can you become a reading volunteer?

– Be an IBBY Canada member.

– Complete a Vulnerable Sector Screening police check.

– Commit an hour a week to read with children (for a six week period).

– Participate in a training session.

If you’re interested in volunteering or starting an IBBY Canada Readers and Refugees Program in your community, please contact Mary Beth Leatherdale at

  • Mary Beth Leatherdale, President
IBBY Canada members (from left to right) Claire Caldwell, Kathi Tanel, and Grace Andrews with readers

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