Tenant Profile: Writer’s Exchange

Our Strathcona portfolio is home to Writer’s Exchange, an organization dedicated to providing literacy programs for under-resourced kids.

Jennifer MacLeod, Co-Founder and Director of Community at the Writer’s Exchange, spoke with us recently about their programming, why their work is so meaningful, and how you can help support their mission to help under-resourced kids realize their full potential.

Tell us about how Writer’s Exchange started and where it is now.

“Writers’ Exchange started as a program for the kids at Queen Alexandria Elementary School. Once other caregivers and teachers heard what we were doing, working to support under-resourced kids and youth to build their confidence and get excited about reading, writing and their own potential, they asked us to join their communities. Now our home-base is in Strathcona and we have programs at 6 different locations running 5 days a week.  We also run programs all summer long and work with teachers and kids in their classrooms to make chapbooks!”


What makes Writer’s Exchange so special and so essential for many kids?

“Writers’ Exchange is so special because we create our programs with the community by building strong, long-lasting relationships with kids, youth and their caregivers. With strong relationships comes open communication, so caregivers can let us know what they want and need from our programs. With that feedback we’ve built fun, safe and welcoming places for kids and youth to engage in wacky and adventurous literacy activities!

We’re also a major publisher of chapbooks written by the kids and youth in our programs. Since opening, we’ve published more than 115 chapbooks, you can check them all out for free at, https://issuu.com/writers_exchange

Can you tell us a little bit about the team here at Writers’ Exchange.

“We have an amazing team! We all work very closely together on everything, which makes things fun. Our Program Team works with the volunteers, kids and youth every day. The team creates the activities, organizes the day and keeps everyone happy. We have around 80 amazing volunteers each term working with the same kids and youth every week. They are there to listen, collaborate and support the kids and youth to try new creative things, free from judgment. The rest of us on staff are here to support the kids, youth, volunteers and the Program Team by making sure we have enough money, spaces and connections to keep things running smoothly!

We are also hiring! Check here for our more information: https://vancouverwe.com/job-posting


What is the best way for people to support Writer’s Exchange?

“We are always looking for people who want to support us by donating what they can. We are so lucky to have a community behind us, generously giving their time and money. If you want to donate or volunteer, you can get all the info you need at https://vancouverwe.com