Alternative Reading Week

Student Life & Community Experience

Alternative Reading Week

Dominican Republic

Participants on this trip will be travelling to Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic to work with an organization called Outreach 360.  Our team will be staying at a local community centre with other Canadian university students who choose to have a similar experience during their Reading Week!  During the day, we will be teaching English in local elementary schools to a variety of grade levels and will have the opportunity to see and experience the community where we are staying in the afternoons/evenings.  



  • 20-25 participants maximum, including:
  • 1-2 Group Leaders (students with service experience)
  • 1-2 Professional Leaders


Service Projects:

  • Teaching English in local elementary schools (no experience or ESL certification required)
  • Small projects around the community centre and the English Institute that Outreach 360 runs in the local community (this may include making beds for future volunteers, games with children, minor projects around the housing site or school, etc.)


Community Partner:

Outreach 360 provides opportunities to orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children with the goal of “releasing the hero within” each of these children!  While the children who live at the orphanage are a focus of Outreach 360 along with the volunteers who join them, all the children of Monte Cristi are disadvantaged in some way and Outreach 360 provides educational opportunities and contributes positively to the greater community. The economics of Monte Cristi are very poor, the children only go to school for half a day, and there are minimal extracurricular activities for the children to participate in.  Outreach 360 serves the local community by teaching English, completing construction/painting projects, and by providing fun activities for children to do outside their classroom hours.

Visit Outreach 360 on-line at:



This trip will cost $1600 Canadian per person*.  A down payment of $800 toward the cost of this trip is due at the time of your brief interview, which you will be contacted to schedule once your application has been submitted. A successful short interview and the submission of your down payment will confirm your spot on the trip.  Please come to your interview with your down payment, which can be paid by cash or cheque.  Please make all cheques payable to Brock University and note your name and student ID in the memo line.

*Flights are not booked at this time.  If flights can be found for less than what is currently budgeted for the trip, the cost of this trip will go down and an updated trip cost will be provided to the selected participants.


Medical Precautions:

Brock University, in consultation with Public Health and DFAIT Canada, strongly recommends that all participants have an up-to-date Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B vaccines.  Anti-malaria medication is also highly recommended.  Any medical related needs are the responsibility of the participant and not included in the cost of the Dominican Republic experience.  We highly recommend that all participants visit their family doctor or Student Health Services on campus as soon as they are able to discuss this travel.


Accommodations & Meals:

Our team will be staying together at one of Outreach 360's community centres in Monte Cristi, DR.  Participants will be sleeping on bunk beds and will have access to modern washrooms and shower facilities.   Mosquito netting will be provided for sleeping. 

Our team’s main meals will be provided by staff of Outreach 360 and will include local items (chicken, beef, rice, beans, salads, plantain, etc.) with more North American style breakfasts (pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, hard boiled eggs, etc.), which are included in the cost of the trip.  The water used in meals and available for drinking is purified.  We may also venture into the local community for a snack or to see a Dominican grocery store during the week.  On the way to and from the Dominican participants may wish to eat a meal at the airport.  These stops will be at each individual's expense and not included in the cost of the trip.  

If you have any additional questions about the Dominican experience, please feel free to contact Amanda Ziegler at or at x4520.

This trip is now FULL. Please see our other Alternative Reading Week opportunities in South Carolina and El Salvador!
Dominican Republic Participant Expectations:

  • Available to fully participate in the one-day Pre-Departure Workshop on Saturday, January 18, 2014 (approx. 9am-4pm).
  • Available to fully participate in the Re-Entry Workshop on Sunday, March 2, 2014 (approx. 2:00-5:00pm).
  • Available to fully participate for the duration of the Dominican experience during Reading Week (Saturday, February 15 - Sunday, February 23, 2014).
  • Submission of a $800 non-refundable down payment (cheque or cash only) at the time of your brief interview, which you will be contacted to schedule once your application has been submitted. Please come to your interview with your down payment.* 

Please make all cheques payable to Brock University and include your name and student ID in the memo line.  The down payment can be dropped off to Amanda Ziegler in DeCew, Room 207 during business hours.

  •  Submission of all remaining trip fees by 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, January 10, 2014.

Note: If a participant withdraws from the program and a waitlisted applicant is able to participate, the withdrawn participant will be refunded their fees less the $800 down payment.  After January 10, 2014, all fees are considered non-refundable.  

  • Responsible for ensuring valid travel insurance and health insurance is in place for the duration of the Dominican experience. 
  • Responsible for consulting with a medical professional regarding vaccinations/prescriptions associated with the Dominican Republic experience.
  • Responsible for following all safety related guidelines outlined by the Professional Leaders, Group Leaders and partnering organizations.
  • Responsible for producing a valid passort and/or VISA.
  • Understanding that this is a substance free experience (no drugs or alcohol may be consumed during the experience or purchased to bring back into Canada).
  • Understanding that this program is facilitated through Brock University and as such, the Code of Conduct for Brock students extends to cover all behaviour during the experience.


Group Leader Information:

Each trip can only be a success with the help of those willing to step up into a leadership role!  Group Leaders will be chosen who complete the application below (any applicants applying to be a Group Leader, will also be considered for general participant spot on the trip in the event that we have more applications for Group Leaders than we have spots available).

Additional Expectations of Group Leaders (in addition to the expectations of a participant outlined above):

  • Participation in Group Leader meetings leading up to the trip, as well as one meeting upon return
  • Assistance in facilitating the Pre-Departure Workshop leading ice breakers, etc.
  • Organization of a trip team social activity (optional for participants) in advance on the trip
  • Assistance in facilitating the Re-Entry Workshop
  • Assistance in gathering photos/media during and after the trip and with the creation of display boards for volunteer appreciation event
  • Assistance in facilitating reflection activities during the trip
  • Willingness to assist the Professional Leaders with tasks during the trip as necessary

For taking on this extra responsibility, Group Leaders will receive $100 off the cost of their trip.  Applicants for Group Leader positions may be contacted for an interview.  Group Leaders who are not selected for the Group Leader role will automatically be considered for a spot as a general participant.