Ciadoux: The “designer” Rémi Courgeon at school, or how to invent a story

The students in the class of Christelle Massina, director of the RPI of Ciadoux, experienced an intense moment on Monday, January 16. They welcomed and saw “in real life” Rémi Courgeon, author of albums for young people. Enthusiasm and impatience was at its height because since the start of the school year they have been working on his books.

He was accompanied by Fabienne Abadie, animator of the Center of animation and educational documentation (CADP) of Saint-Gaudens. This organization proposes for schoolchildren the arrival of authors, in relation to the learning cycles of the pupils.

Pedagogical work was carried out upstream by the director Christelle, assisted by Camille: “We selected around twenty of her books, adapted to the class. This summer I read his novel L’Herbier des Gens, which tells a story of shared gardens, which gave me the idea for the theme of the year, the tree and the forest. »

In front of his captivated young audience, and under a rolling fire of questions, the “drawer” dissects the workings of the creation of a story, by involving the children. Random proposals that fuse in the class, a scenario is set up. Long-awaited moment, the master takes out his brush and brushes with India ink in a few sure strokes, the character born of young fertile minds. In the continuity of class work, with humor and simplicity, Rémi Courgeon leads children to imagine, invent, build, project, use language, listen to others, understand and make people understand a narration…

Before the snack shared at the end of the afternoon, the children offered a gift that moved the author: a notebook containing the continuation of the album Le Grand Arbre, a story with an ecological and humanist scope. “For 20 years that this album exists, exclaims the author, you are the first school to imagine a sequel. I am very touched. »

Born in Choisy-le-Roi in 1959, Rémi Courgeon is also a painter, and lives in the Paris region. He regularly intervenes in schools. He knows the Comminges well and for a full week, he will visit the schools in the area, at the invitation of the CADP.

How do you feel about the enthusiasm of the students?

“I see that they feel joy, I’m happy about it and I admit that I share it. I feed on it for my new books, it prevents my childhood from getting too far away.

What message do you want to convey?

“I’m a storyteller, and that’s an important social role. I have things to tell them, philosophical, social, environmental. I also work on books that feature girls and women. I want to put them in the light. Creating strong female characters means opening up debates in the classroom on their place and their role in our society. I would like to change the way we look at them. »

What are your next projects ?

“I have just finished my third novel, for the threshold, which is entitled Comme dans un film. It is about the love of stories and how to tell them through film. I am currently working on an album with Ghislaine Roman*, which will probably be called Bacaillé et Violette. »

*Ghislaine Roman, former teacher, master trainer in Toulouse, writer for young people, storyteller, involved in the fight against illiteracy.

Ciadoux: The “designer” Rémi Courgeon at school, or how to invent a story