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What help for 2.5 million people in France struggling with illiteracy?

We list some of the main organisations that support adults and children with reading, writing and numeracy

7% of people aged between 18 and 65 in France have not mastered the basic skills needed to be independent in their daily lives Pic: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

Some 2.5 million people in France struggle with illiteracy (l’illettrisme), according to the Agence Nationale de Lutte Contre l’Illettrisme (ANLCI) – that is 7% of people aged between 18 and 65.

This means they have not mastered the basic skills needed to be independent in their daily lives, including reading, writing, arithmetic, navigating places, telling the time, and numeracy.

My Facstory, featured in the article below, is one of a number of local organisations that support people who want to learn to read and write by “opening new doors and offering learning opportunities to those who need them the most”, but many national schemes also exist.

Read more: ‘I am learning to read at 43 after running my own business for years’

The ANLCI, created in 2000, optimises state, local authority and business resources in the fight against illiteracy. 

It measures illiteracy, develops and disseminates a common frame of reference, and coordinates projects.

The Association de la fondation étudiante pour la ville provides individual literacy support for young people in working-class neighbourhoods. 

For two hours a week, a student volunteer works with a child or young person (aged five to 18) who is experiencing difficulties.

The Association Coup de Pouce seeks to prevent early failure and the social exclusion that goes with it. 

Its extracurricular Clé clubs (Club de Lecture-Écriture) provide support in schools for pupils aged six to seven with reading difficulties through fun activities.

Lire et faire lire is a programme designed to promote the pleasure of reading, as well as to create intergenerational links. 

It sends volunteers aged over 50 to read stories to small groups of children (from two to six years), mainly in primary schools.

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