Racing Readers

The SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre is excited to once again offer the popular Racing Readers program in-person! Racing Readers helps children in grades 2 to 5 develop educational skills, and physical and social well-being. Children participate in reading, writing and numeracy exercises and physical activities. SFU students offer support and act as positive role models for program participants.

Each session includes a discussion around the word of the day (acting as a theme for that session), journal writing, physical activity, reminder to go wash hands, reading or a riddle, and a short reflection or heart to heart discussion to end the session.

Eligibility: At this time, Racing Readers is being offered at Georges Vanier and Newton elementary schools, and is only available for children attending those schools. 

Volunteer testimonials

Learn more about the program by reading the following volunteer testimonials!

Photo gallery


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Racing Readers: Making an impact

Episode description:

Strong literacy skills are one of the most important early indicators of high school graduation. Through third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade students are reading to learn. A strong start in reading thus creates a foundation for further learning and higher educational attainment. Since 2014, SFU’s Racing Readers program has facilitated this strong start through after school programming for children in the diverse and growing South Fraser community. An after-school reading program, Racing Readers connects university and elementary school students to promote literacy, numeracy and physical activity amongst children grades two to five. In this episode of Student Engage, we discuss the impact of the Racing Readers program with SFU Community Engagement Associate Trisha Dulku and Racing Reader program leader Balroop Chahal.

It’s a tangible way to actually see the impact that you make. I think it’s one thing to read reports and look at quantitative data about the impact that you can make in a community, it’s quite another to see that look of inspiration and gratitude in a child’s eyes.

Racing Readers: Creating Connection

Episode Description:

Making the connection between the classroom and the community, SFU’s Racing Readers program connects university and elementary school students through literacy and numeracy mentorship for students in grades two to five. Since 2014, the SFU volunteers have played an important role in providing a link to higher education and promoting a love of learning amongst the elementary school participants. In this episode of Student Engage, we discuss education, mentorship, and civic engagement with Racing Reader program volunteers Kimmy Basra and Hisham Wewala.

A lot of the students are Indo-Canadian, and a lot of the volunteers are as well. I think that it’s really cool for the students to see people that look like them in mentorship roles, that aren’t their teachers or their parents. It provides these kids with a positive role model.

Click to listen now.

Beyond the Podcast:

Interested in getting involved with your community? Learn more

Learn more about how your community is engaging the world by following the Student Engage podcast on SoundCloud.

Ways to get involved

For students:

Interested in our programs & events?

Partner with us:

  • For partnership, please contact Rachel Nelson or call 778.782.8082