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The Incoruptibles Literary Award, a prize awarded by young people

Summary : The Incorruptibles association, approved by the Ministry of National Education as an additional public educational association, has for 26 years organised and set up actions around reading including the Incorruptibles prize, the 1st prize for Youth Literature awarded by young readers.

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  • Start date : 1998
  • Implementation site : France
  • Budget : 230000 €
  • Source and details on funding : Membership and grants from the Crédit Mutuel for Reading Foundation
  • Appendix n°1
  • Appendix n°2




Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  10/03/2015 00:00
Opinion of the Committee : Should be generalized !
Solution(s) : Culture, sport and leisure activities Education
Country :  France, Île-de-France
Stature of the programme :  International
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Pupil, students, Adolescents
  • Domain :  Education, Training, Culture

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Taking Action together against dropping out of school » (2015)

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Habib Capucine , « The Incoruptibles Literary Award, a prize awarded by young people », **Journal RESOLIS** (2015)

Background to the programme

The association was created in 1988 in order to give a voice to children, to gather their views on books as well as getting them to discover the richness of children's literature while promoting the pleasure of reading.

The project is aimed at children from nursery to secondary school in the school or extracurricular framework but also at home living in France, in the DOM / TOM and also in French schools abroad.

Objectives of the programme

The Incorruptibles Literary Award was designed as a game, a challenge to take up. Its goal is to change the way young readers look at a book, so they perceive it as a true object of pleasure and discovery.

To be Incorruptible, the young readers, from nursery to secondary school promise to:
- Read the books that have been selected
- Form a personal opinion on each of the books
- Vote for their favourite book

Implemented actions

The Incorruptibles Prize is a complete reading project that's ready to go. In fact, we organise several events throughout the year:
- The reading tools: the lexicon and the reading paths drawn up by professionals in children's literature
- Games around the selection of the books at the rate of one game per book, per month
- A forum in which the Incorruptibles can exchange views on books
- An illustration contest and quizzes
- Possible activities with the authors and illustrators: meetings, contact and a TV series.

Each structure pays an annual membership of € 26

Reading committees spread out throughout France (composed of teachers, librarians, booksellers ...) make a selection of 5 to 7 books from any level that is then read by young people who then choose their favourite book.

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

- In 2014, 353,661 young readers voted for their favourite book.
- Today, the association has 7,400 members (schools, libraries, leisure centres ...) and 200 families. During the 26th edition of the Prize, these were 353,661 children who read and voted for their favourite book. In 1988 there were only about twenty children participating.
- The award also helps to create links in the departments or within the same municipality (between the schools or between a library and a school for example).

Original characteristics

- The final selection is made by a hundred reading committees spread throughout France. The committees are composed of literary professionals (teachers, librarians, booksellers etc.).
- Young people rarely have the opportunity to vote for literary prizes. Here their opinion is at the heart of the prize and therefore highly valued.
- The program is larger than simply the organisation of a prize: it offers parallel activities for young people to approach reading with pleasure and promotes exchanges between them through an online forum.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

Crédit Mutuel Fondation for reading
National Education
FCPE / APEL (pupil parents' associations)
OCCE (Central Office for Cooperation at school)


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

- The association is growing every year and increasing the number of members and children participating. However the impediments to development for member organisations can be financial: difficulties in paying for membership or the purchase of books for example.
- The association would like to expand their network, particularly among families, but the cost of communication is substantial for a small organisation and we lack visibility among the general public. We believe it is essential that families are also involved in their child's reading.

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

- In order to provide a more useful service to its members, each year the association is looking for new partners, especially pedagogical and institutional partners, to create rich and varied content (eg the collaboration with the Canopé network, academic inspections, departmental libraries, etc). The approval of the association by the Ministry of National Education certainly allows teachers to promote the action with their seniors and ultimately to obtain larger subsidies.
- The Incorruptibles Awards is also seeking the development of a stronger local network to support actions in favour of reading by pooling actions and experiences.

Suggestions for future improvement :

The association is working on new proposals related to digital development and hoping to reach children who aren't inclined to read.

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

- The association proposes a fully formed project that enables easy access to organisations that want to set it up.
- Through their membership to the association, the organisations and families can order a selection of books at a special price (club) in order to lead this project properly.
- Obtaining the approval of National Education has allowed the association to grow, both in the number of members and the actions carried out throughout the year.

Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :

All the references for the selections by the Incorruptibles for the last 26 years are at: http://www.lesincos.com/bibliotheque.html

To know more

See the attached brochure for the year 2014/2015. A new brochure is produced each year in April. The Incorruptibles website brings together the most information: www.lesincos.com

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