Jouons avec Cornemuse et ses amis

(Let's play with Cornemuse and his friends)

Supported by the Foundation from 2006 to 2008

The benefits of early stimulation for young children have been clearly established: children who are stimulated by their parents and the people around them have a better chance of achieving optimal development. Children who grow up in a disadvantaged environment are more vulnerable and require continual attention to help them achieve optimal development and give them every possible chance for success.

Two of the five key competencies considered to be necessary for a successful start in school (school readiness) are cognitive and language development (interest and skills in reading, math and appropriate language use) and communication skills and general knowledge (ability to communicate and be understood, ability to understand others, clear articulation and general knowledge).

In reaction to the shortage of stimulating, appropriate material for use in underprivileged areas, a group of speech therapists and community partners in the Outaouais region developed an early language stimulation program to spark preschoolers' interest in reading and writing.

When approached in 2005, the Foundation decided to support the first phase of the project: design, development and evaluation.

Cornemuse AmisInspired by the children's television show Cornemuse (broadcast on Télé-Québec) and its familiar, expressive and well-loved characters, Jouons avec Cornemuse et ses amis is an activity kit including:

  • a DVD of 25 scenes from the Cornemuse television show, carefully selected by speech therapists for their language-acquisition value
  • a user's guide explaining certain theoretical and practical aspects to help users make the best use of the kit
  • a collection of 40 activities that are clearly explained to enable teachers and educators to use each activity effectively with groups of 4 to 5-year-olds
  • a series of letters for parents
  • over 300 images to accompany the activities.

At the end of a two-year development period, the evaluation of the pilot project was conclusive: the program significantly improved children's language skills. Tests done on young children in disadvantaged areas showed that the activities stimulated their interest in reading and writing, and enabled practitioners to detect potential speech problems that could hinder certain children's ability to learn to write.

The Jouons avec Cornemuse et ses amis program, considered to be a great success, was the result of exemplary cooperation among many different partners in the public, private and community sectors all working with children from vulnerable families.

What practitioners had to say about the pilot project:

"This program is extremely comprehensive; the material is well thought-out."

"Easy to understand, very accessible."

"Make this program widely available…fast!"

"Fantastic kit…very little preparation required for each activity. The images are colourful, lively and appealing, and the activities are stimulating and amusing. I am convinced that the children will get a lot out of this program while having fun at the same time!"

The Jouons avec Cornemuse et ses amis kit is currently distributed by the Centre de communication en santé mentale (CECOM) at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies.

We believe

"We believe" is a short video that uses images to illustrate our constantly renewed desire to prevent poverty for the good of future generations in Quebec.

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