Since the beginning of the school year, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary teacher Caroline Turcotte has implemented a new program called Lire et faire lire in her Grade 2 French Immersion classroom. The program aims at sharing the love of literature and reading across generations.
The idea is simple : have volunteers aged at least 50 come to schools and read stories aloud to small groups of children. These volunteers, many of whom retired, contribute to the education of students by sharing the passion for reading, encouraging little ones in expressing themselves in French, and enabling their personal and social development. In 1999, French writer Alexandre Jardin had the idea for an association that would bring together little ones and volunteers through the passion of reading. The idea had already immigrated to Québec in 2002.
It can be difficult for a child raised in English to read and express herself or himself in French, even at school. Reading stories aloud is fundamental to literacy, and consequently, a vital part of school success.
This is why, once a week for over a month now, six volunteer readers have been telling stories an hour at a time to groups of three or four students in Madame Turcotte’s French Immersion classroom.
« I am happy to see how excited the students are to participate in this activity. This concept is wonderful because it is based on exchange and camaraderie. The Lire et faire lire project is a good example of an intergenerational activity that not only allows students to enjoy reading, but also promotes the development of fondness and friendship. It is wonderful to see that these weekly meetings between children and volunteers build values of solidarity and respect that crosses the boundaries of generation. »
Caroline Turcotte, French Immersion Teacher at Hull’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary
Western Québec wishes to thank all current and future Lire et faire lire volunteers, as well as to congratulate Ms. Turcotte for this exemplary initiative.