Cabourg: students from the Jean Guillou school in the running for the Little Reading Champions

Each student spent three minutes on the stage to read their text aloud in front of the public and the jury. ©The Pays d’Auge — Nicolas MOUCHEL

Attentive and focused, there are twelve students from the Jean Guillou school waiting on the Sall’in stage in Cabourg (Calvados), Tuesday January 17, 2023, for the Cabourg final of the national competition for Little Reading Champions. These young participants were selected following work done in class to try to represent their school during the following stages of this national reading aloud championship. “This is the second time we’ve taken part,” says Sarah Marie, teacher in CM1 and CM2, who has been leading the project with her colleague Marie-Amélie Boutin for several months.

The jury had to decide between the twelve finalist candidates from the Jean Guillou school.
The jury had to decide between the twelve finalist candidates from the Jean Guillou school. ©The Pays d’Auge — Nicolas MOUCHEL

Seven members of the jury

For this second participation, the event “has grown for us”, since the pupils of the CM1 and CM2 classes were supervised by the writer Jérôme Attal, who intervened with the pupils in order to prepare them for this competition, “it gave us a big boost,” assures Sarah Marie. The writer thus accompanied the students during their practice of reading aloud. “They must choose a book, then an excerpt that they will read aloud in front of an audience in three minutes maximum”. An exercise that the students carried out first in class in small groups, then in front of all their classmates who voted for the finalists who performed on Tuesday evening on the Sall’in stage. A performance not easy for them, facing an audience made up of parents of students, but also a jury of seven members responsible for deciding between them. The latter was made up of the godfather Jérôme Attal, Wilfried Loriot, manager of the Apple, Mouette and Colibri bookstore, Véronique Berlemont, school director, Anthony Lamotte, youth service leader, Christophe Valentiny, parent manager students and Morgane Frelaut, from the education department.

Jérôme Attal, youth writer and sponsor of this edition, encourages young participants.
The writer Jérôme Attal. ©The Pays d’Auge — Nicolas MOUCHEL

“Manage their stress”

What to impress the twelve students on stage? Not necessarily, given the performance of young readers. “The children were very motivated and enthusiastic about the idea of ​​participating,” observe the teachers. This public reading exercise has many advantages for students, “it allows them to work on articulation, how to bring their texts to life, manage their stress”, notes Sarah Marie. They are also evaluated on the relevance of the choice of the extract, “it brings together the skills necessary for children on leaving primary school, it’s a very nice project”.

The sponsor of Jean Guillou’s students, Jérôme Attal, made no mistake about it, recalling that this initiative should make it possible to “bring children towards reading”, while encouraging and valuing them, “if you are there evening, it’s not by chance, give the best! “.

Two winners

The two winners from Cabourg are Chloé Martin for the CM1 class and Esteban Coudray for the CM2 class. They will represent the Jean Guillou school for the departmental finals which will take place in a few weeks in Caen. At the end of this stage, it’s time for the regional finals and perhaps the grand national final in Paris.

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Cabourg: students from the Jean Guillou school in the running for the Little Reading Champions