Volunteers from J’apprends avec mon enfant (JAME)

April 2016

Armed with tact, perseverance and books, a group of 130 volunteers makes weekly personal visits to family homes. For an hour, they focus all their attention on a single child to communicate the pleasure of reading and share in a world of discovery. They do all of this on their own time simply because they care so much about academic success. 

These volunteers come from J'apprends avec mon enfant (JAME), an agency that pairs adult readers with children experiencing academic problems who live in Verdun, Le Sud-Ouest, Lachine, LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. 

In 2014-2015, the retention rate of volunteer readers reached an impressive 70%. This is a major achievement, especially considering the close relationship between reading skills and academic success. 

Children paired with a volunteer are referred by their institutions or schools. Some can't count on their Allophone parents to help them with their school work, while for others, reading is simply not something the family does. Some children also face difficult family situations or a learning or behaviour disorder. 

In this context, volunteers play a key role in helping these children acquire the language skills they need for success at school. But the gains don't stop there: through reading and a relationship of trust, the volunteers allow the children to develop tools that will help them throughout their school careers, such as curiosity, concentration, knowledge building, self-esteem, and personal growth. 

Some volunteers go above and beyond and help children with their homework, guide Allophone parents in their communication with the school, and organize activities with families outside of the reading periods. They create bridges between isolated families, the community, and the many services that can help them move forward. 

Centraide has been supporting JAME since 2012.

The vonlunteers from J’apprends avec mon enfant (JAME) are the winners of the Solidaires Citizen Involvement 2016.