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Lire et faire lire: develop the joy of reading for children through intergenerational solidarity

Summary : “Lire et faire lire” (“Read and help with reading") volunteers try to develop children’s joy of reading and their command of language through weekly reading sessions. This national programme thus promotes intergenerational exchanges; all the volunteers are over 50 years old.

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  • Start date : 2000
  • Implementation site : Paris
  • Budget : N/A
  • Source and details on funding : Departmental Union of Family Associations, City of Paris, SNCF Foundation




Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  10/06/2016 00:00
Solution(s) : Culture, sport and leisure activities Education
Country :  France, Île-de-France
Stature of the programme :  National
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Senior Citizens, Children under 5, Pupil, students
  • Domain :  Education, Training

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Poverty France » (Paris 15ème)

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Kneppert Louis-Pascal , « Lire et faire lire: develop the joy of reading for children through intergenerational solidarity », **Journal RESOLIS** (2016)

Background to the programme

Lire et faire lire, an association created in 1999 by Alexandre Jardin (novelist) and Pascal Guene (former president of the Relais civique), is inspired by an action carried out in Brest since 1985. This programme to develop the joy of reading and intergenerational solidarity was first launched in schools and then in other educational organisations (leisure centres, nurseries, libraries ...). The programme has since been developed in many French departments and is coordinated by volunteers from the League of Education and/or the National Union of Familial Associations.

Objectives of the programme

- Educational and cultural objective: contribute to the development of children’s reading and their understanding of the French language, to help discover the joy of reading

- Develop intergenerational exchanges

- Fight against illiteracy: by reading from the earliest age, a child develops their vocabulary which allows them to more easily access reading. Meanwhile it helps to make a particular book known to the entire family.

Implemented actions

At the request of the teacher or facilitator, and in line with the development plan, volunteers over the age of 50 carry out weekly reading sessions with small groups of children (around 6, from nursery to middle school) during the school year. This approach is focused on discovering the pleasure of reading and meetings between generations.

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

- 330 volunteers from the UDAF side and 280 from the League of Education. Only one employee involved in the Lire et faire lire project.

- The satisfaction questionnaire is distributed annually to volunteers. Many continue from one year to the next.

- Volunteers greatly appreciate the exchanges with children

- Around 3,500 children supported through the academic year 2015/2016, approximately 6,200 hours

Original characteristics

The originality of the programme lies in the intergenerational link it seeks to develop by only recruiting volunteers over 50 who receive support and training in order to facilitate the readings as well as possible. The children completely understand the difference between volunteers and their parents, educators and teachers. These volunteers choose the text that they share with children.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

- Libraries of the City of Paris

- Schools in Paris, libraries, nurseries, day-care centres, leisure centres


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

- Sometimes it’s difficult to integrate new schools.

- Smallness of some premises: not always easy to find a room so that the volunteer can easily set themselves up

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

- Find practical solutions: for example, for a class, a teacher keeps half the children + 2 groups

- Training of volunteers and implementation of new skills

Suggestions for future improvement :

- Expansion of training

- Development of tutoring

- Encourage people to exchange experiences

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

- Increase the number of organisations from early childhood to adolescence

- Develop the number of volunteers: the more volunteers there are, the better the project works, and the more people it attracts

- A degree of initiative is left to volunteers: balance struck between freedom and supervision

- Workshops for exchanging experiences between volunteers. Allows them to learn from each other, including between very experienced and less experienced people

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

Concrete action in the field of disabled children with specific know-how

Research on multilingualism

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