The Foundation

Did you know?

Did you know?



Considered the father of collective education, Charlemagne set up a school in his palace where the knowledge of the time was disseminated. The King of the Franks spoke Frankish, knew Latin and Greek, loved grammar, but didn't know... how to write! Quite a paradox for an illiterate, self-taught emperor to have founded the school system!



Broadcast on Télé-Québec, this soap opera presented the trials and tribulations of two families afflicted with a serious social handicap: illiteracy. Graffiti featured Louise Portal, Patrick Labbé, Aubert Pallascio and Geneviève Rioux. The number of the Foundation’s referral line appeared at the end of the show.


Weaving a giant web

More than one kilometre of string was used to weave Arachne’s Web, a monumental sculpture created for the Letters in the City project.


What do Albert Jacquard, John Ralston Saul and Hervé Sérieyx have in common?

They were all headlining guest speakers at the three international symposiums on literacy training and basic training organized by the Foundation from 1998 to 2001.

How did The Gift of Reading® start?

Seeking a way of giving the public a yearly opportunity to do something to reach our target clientele, Sophie Labrecque had the original idea for the Gift of Reading® project. During the infamous ice storm of 1998, the project took shape, with help from some teacher friends who found shelter with Sophie. Starting in 1994, and building on research on the family and literacy, the Foundation became one of the first to be interested in prevention and, with The Gift of Reading®, to reach hundreds of underprivileged families at risk of illiteracy since 1999.

Access code for illiterate individuals

Aimed at people with low literacy skills, Code d’accès (Access Code), a program developed by Tout Écran (1998‑2001 on TQS) counted on the Info-Alpha line team to answer viewers’ questions live.

Quebec Literacy Week

From 1990 to 2001, Quebec Literacy Week, initiated by the Foundation, was held every third week of October, bringing together the entire Quebec literacy training world. The specific theme of each edition—right to vote, literacy training and the family, learners’ successes, etc.—allowed the Foundation to explore various avenues surrounding the cause and to present innovative literacy projects in Quebec. Above all, though, it was an opportunity to show the courage of those undergoing literacy training.

Up, up in the air!

In 1994, Sophie Labrecque, CEO of the Foundation, gave an interview in a promotional Yellow Pages hot air balloon displaying Canada-wide advertising for ABC Canada along with the number of the Info-Alpha line for Quebec.

Well-know personalities...

In 1998, 95 public personalities, including Jean Chrétien, Andrée Lachapelle and Yves Beauchemin, wrote a word of encouragement to a learner as part of Domtar’s Paper Christmas  for Literacy.