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Association Coup de Pouce (formerly Apféé) was founded in 1984 in Lyon to fight against early school failure. It has since grown into one of the main French non-profit organizations in Education. Based on scientific research, its programs are both children- and parent-focused. These programs both stimulate the development of children’s cognitive and soft skills (motivation, self-confidence, and taste for reading) and give parents the keys to support their children.

Coup de Pouce Clé

How it works

Coup de Pouce Clé program aims at providing children aged 6-7 the support they lack within their family and social environment to learn how to read and write. In a Coup de Pouce Clé “club”, a group of 5 children participate in an after-school session, lasting 1.5 hours, 4 days a week, during 24 weeks.
A group leader encourages them to take part in playful reading and writing activities according to a rigorous protocol. Each day, they experiment the pleasure of reading and succeeding, in a friendly and warm atmosphere.

Parents’ implication

Coup de Pouce Clé is based on a triangular relationship between teachers, parents and children. It mobilizes parents who have been alienated from school and who do not have the availability or the personal resources to help their child. This is the combination of 3 key success factors :
> the parents’ commitment to attend the opening and graduation ceremonies and at least one club session per quarter. 70% of them take part in at least one session during the year. This gives them the opportunity to observe activities they can easily replicate at home.
> the daily dialogue established between the group leader, the teacher and the parents in order to enhance the child’s progress.
> the projects set up locally alongside Coup de Pouce Clé to strengthen its impact on parents : support groups, visits to library…

Evaluation and social impact

Since Coup de Pouce Clé was launched in 1995, the evaluation of its social impact is carried out annually on all children who benefit from the program. The children’s progress in reading and attitude towards school are assessed by their teachers. Teachers estimate that after one year of Coup de Pouce Clé, about 80% of the children meet the required reading level. Moreover, about the same proportion improve their motivation and self-confidence. The evaluation process helps to aggregate hundreds of teachers’ testimonies that provide further insights and highlight the positive effects of Coup de Pouce Clé. These results are accredited by evaluations ordered by public authorities.

Local partnership

Coup de Pouce Clé establishes a strong partnership between the local municipalities, the schools and Association Coup de Pouce. During the 2015-2016 school year, 250 municipalities all over France set up this program in 1,300 schools. Therefore, 9,400 children and their parents can benefit from it.


> 100,000 beneficiaries in 20 years.
> Each year, 6,500 people involved in the field action towards more than 10,000 children and their parents.
> 80% success rate.

Research and innovation

In addition to the Coup de Pouce Clé, Association Coup de Pouce has launched two pilot programs to strengthen its responses to early school failure :
> Coup de Pouce Cla : focused on language for children aged 5-6 and their parents.
> Coup de Pouce Clém : focused on mathematics for children aged 7-8 and their parents.