How We Do It


64% of learners stated that the Reading Circle helped them improve their reading comprehension.

We engage young mothers in a process of self-discovery through reading novels that reflect their lived experiences. The books feature strong female lead characters navigating relationships, identity, motherhood, sexual politics, the economy, community and themselves. Through reading the stories of similar women, our participants find value in their own successes and challenges. This builds learner capacity and confidence leading to improved literacy and life skills.

  • Learners receive a new copy of each book read in the Reading Circle.
  • Reading Circles are 90 minutes per week.
  • 30 minutes of the Reading Circle is dedicated to reading out loud (this is a voluntary process).


Critical Conversation

67% of learners said they now read to relieve stress. 

Facilitators guide learners in a critical discussion of the character’s stories and their responses and reactions to the text. The conversations are vibrant, powerful and educational. Through this process learners develop a comfort with language, practice free expression, and build strong communication and interpersonal skills. Learners come to understand that their stories matter, their opinions matter and that their potential is boundless.

  • The Reading Circle is a safe, inclusive environment; all opinions are respected and honoured.
  • Learners have the opportunity to share their reading experience with the authors during author meet and greets.
  • 30 minutes of the Reading Circle is dedicated to critical conversation. 


Life Stories

76% of learners stated that the Reading Circle had a positive impact on their parenting. 

December 15, 2014

Who Am I?

My name is Catherine that is what I was known as. I never fit with the name Shanice, the name my mother game me whom I don’t know.

Growing up, a lot of things were hidden from me that I didn’t understand until now. My childhood was amazing. My adoptive parents treated me like I was their own. That is what I believed. Little did I know that my birth parents gave me up when I was born. I had so much pain and anger when I found out. Still to this day I ask myself who am I?

When my adoptive parents split up, my relationship with them changed in a bad way. I became a dark person. My mother was acting like she didn’t love me anymore. I just wanted my mother to love me again.

On November 5th, 2011, I met the love of my life. He made me feel so happy. One day something happened I found out that I was pregnant. The thoughts running through my mind were overwhelming. I was so scared; I was only 16.

From that day on, I had decisions to make. It was a serious situation. Once I found out I called my boyfriend and told him that I was pregnant and I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking about doing adoption because I was so scared. That is the day my sister told me that I was adoptive. Things and situations got crazy. Why did everyone hide this from me? I was so angry that my mother lied to me my whole life.

After finding out the truth I thought about my decision. I wanted to be a mother to my baby, I wanted my baby to know his mother and father. 9 months later on august 9, 2012 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We named him Max. That was the most wonderful day when I held him for the first time.

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