Since May 16th this year, the young residents of Portage’s program for francophone adolescents at Lac Écho have had a space set aside for reading.

Through the PREL (Partenaire pour la réussite éducative dans les Laurentides), the Consortium Jeunesse MRC des Laurentides and the Commission scolaire des Laurentides, the Lac Écho drug rehabilitation centre received $10,800 in funding and subsidies in order to encourage young people to read.


A library was built with the help of the young residents. It houses a collection worth over $5,000, with books for all tastes.

Every effort is made to promote the joy of reading. In order to maximize accessibility and make education a priority, the library features a reading nook and is open outside school hours.

In addition to enjoying the newly-built library and the many books that have been purchased, francophone youth can attend workshops offered by library facilitator Olivier Hamel. During the hour and a half workshops, the facilitator, youth and counsellors join in activities that foster a taste for reading.

Every two weeks, the centre’s youth are invited to attend a book club with their counsellor to discuss their latest read and reinforce good reading habits.


“Youth attend the activities facilitated by Olivier with much interest and enthusiasm,“ confirms Benoit Lauzon, unit head for the francophone youth program.

The PREL offered the youth of Lac Écho a place to read so they can leave their worries behind as they engage with a good book. The objective is to foster a love of reading. This initiative has already proven very successful and conducive to youth opening up to others and to themselves, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of Portage’s therapeutic community.

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