Reading Circle Programs

For Moms: Women with Words Reading Circles

Women with Words (WWW) is a unique and innovative program designed in response to the need for a different approach to learning for marginalized young moms. Because most of our clients have been victims of abuse, violence or neglect, the program offers participants a safe, non-judgmental environment, where they can overcome their feelings of abandonment and isolation.

  • Held at various partner shelters and youth centres across the GTA, each week young moms join the circles to read and discuss novels with trained facilitators. 
  • They read books that are relevant to their lives, allowing participants the opportunity to reflect on issues and problems they often feel they cannot control.
  • Through highly interactive discussions and writing tasks, participants develop skills in literacy, empathy and decision-making, and learn that their voices have value. This leads to increased self-confidence and a renewed interest in learning that is then passed on to their children.
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For Kids: Super Readers

Super Readers is a Reading Circle program for marginalized youth between 8-12 years old that uses graphic novels, and “be your own superhero” curriculum to develop good reading habits, encourage academic achievement, build social skills and foster community engagement. The concept is simple. With the support of a trained facilitator, boys and girls will read graphic novels that resonate with their lives. 
  • These stories will explore topics such as bullying, peer pressure, growing up, making friends and more. 
  • The super readers discuss these issues, often out of their control, safely through the characters in the story. 
  • By reading relatable novels, discussions and writing exercises, they begin appreciating language as a tool of expression and advocacy, developing the skills they need for success.
Super Readers – Graphic Novel Reading Circle

The Art of the Story

The goal of LforL’s ‘The Art of the Story’ Reading Circle is to use creative non-fiction writing to give learners the tools to express their struggles and successes– the details that have marked their lives deserve to be honoured in their authentic voices.   Learners engage in exploratory reading, critical conversation and narrative writing, and learn there is more than one way to tell a story.
  • The eight-week workshop will feature various dynamic guest speakers, including improv artists, social activists and playwrights.
  • Each week, learners will be given short, in-class writing assignments to help chip away at their writing blocks and access their voices. 
  • Participants will have the option of pitching their final stories to the widely-read, female-centric blog,The Hairpin.



One pot, Many Stories

This workshop is about the relationships we develop with food and how these relationships contribute to the individual, their family, their friends and their community. Food and how we relate to food is an important part of growth and development. All of Literature for Life’s Reading Circles are anchored by one philosophy: everyone can read. “One Pot Many Stories” will be anchored by a similar philosophy: everyone knows food.
  • The eight-week workshop will end with a Reading Circle Pot Luck.
  • Imparting food knowledge in a safe environment that accounts for participants’ barriers and challenges in achieving food sustainability and maintaining food security.
  • Participants will be able to prepare meals that can feed four that cost less than $10 while still making healthy choices.


Women with Words Shoe Stories

The goal of “Women with Words Shoe Stories” is to improve participants’ creative expression through a practical, experiential workshop, incorporating social support and peer-led activities that are applicable to their social and personal environment.
  • The six-week workshop will produce a collection of short shoe stories.
  • Exploring the art of language- (imagery, metaphor, voice, symbolism) in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Learning to find value in our own world and possessions.


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