11,100 children concerned by the programme
So-called “basic” skills form the bedrock of teaching during primary education (from preschool to 10 years old). It’s here that pupils learn reading, writing, maths and respect for others. But in 20% of cases, pupils starting junior school haven’t mastered these basic skills sufficiently, creating difficulties which will remain with them for the rest of their school years.
Fully aware of the problems related to inequality which this skills gap can cause, in 2017 the Ministry of Education launched a campaign to promote books and reading with the “Ensemble, pour un pays de lecteurs” programme (Working together for a country of readers). The idea is to give everyone the same chance of success by encouraging pupils to read and to improve their French language skills. With this in mind, this programme subsidises associations working in this field, such as Lire et Écrire, launched in 2000 by the writer Alexandre Jardin.
This organisation is boosted by the presence of retirees, who give their time to share their love of reading with youngsters. The association not only works to help pupils master fundamental skills, but also forges valuable inter-generational links.
General Representative of the Groupe ADP Foundation