Literacy Lab

The Literacy Lab is a student-managed learning center staffed by over 90 student volunteer coaches. Coaches provide support for students in grades 4-12 in the areas of reading, writing, note-taking, presenting and discussing in English, Chinese, Korean, French and German. The Lab is open daily during secondary lunch 1:10-1:45 (except Wednesday) and after school 3:10-4:00 pm (except Friday). No appointment is necessary to receive support.

The Literacy Lab is now in its eighth year of operation and is staffed by 90 student volunteers—coaches, managers and a supervisor. The lab records over 800 visits a year from students seeking academic support—nearly four times the number of students currently enrolled in the school’s secondary division.

Our success is rooted in inquiry and discussion-based practices that promote respectful, authentic and often mutually beneficial dialogue. When providing support, our student volunteers do not act as tutors or give advice to learners seeking academic support. Instead, out volunteers act as coaches and engage in a conversation using specific strategies to help guide learners to think critically about their work and develop creative solutions to their own unique challenges. This model not only reinforces essential approaches to learning, but it ultimately empowers learners by creating the opportunity for them to take responsibility for their own learning and by acknowledging their innate ability to do so through meaningful dialogue. These are valuable life skills and strategies that will benefit all of us throughout our schooling and beyond.

Our mission is to support the acquisition of literacy skills across the school and promote a culture of learning.


What We Believe

  • Inquiry. We believe in the transformative power of inquiry. We understand how asking genuine questions promotes agency and responsibility and leads to creative problem-solving.
  • Working Together. We believe in discussion-based learning. Working together through dialogue strengthens inquiry and allows us to overcome obstacles we never could alone.
  • Inclusivity. We believe that you do not need to be an expert to coach.  Anyone can do it because it relies on skills most already possess: the ability to ask questions and have a conversation with peers.
  • Service. We believe in tangible and purposeful service that directly impacts our community.


The Literacy Lab has a wide range of support options for teachers. We can help you manage and track how many students visit the lab for support, provide tip sheets for a range of tasks and we can help facilitate workshops in your classroom. If you’re interesting in our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our student supervisor or teacher advisor,

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