All our project activities were based on the active participation of youth workers and young people who developed and defined tailored approaches and tools targeted at all the people interested in promoting reading among young people.

READ activities are based on:


Non-formal education

Along with these two main pillars, the project has used a wide range of approaches and methods that could be useful to promote reading and literacy among young people:

  • Creative thinking: finding innovative solutions to traditional problems by using methods and approaches that help you think outside the box.
  • Participative learning: actively involving each person in the learning process by allowing them to share their experiences, ideas, inputs, feedbacks, etc., so as to create meaningful and tailored activities.
  • Experimental learning: carrying out activities that provide experiences, stimulate reflections, conclusions and help learners make a practical use of notions and concepts.
  • Cooperative learning: learning and working together to seek outcomes that are beneficial to all the members of the group.

Non-formal education

What is it?

It refers to planned, structured programmes and processes of personal and social education for young people designed to improve a range of skills and competences, outside the formal educational curriculum.

Where can you do it?

Non-formal education is what happens in places such as youth organisations, sport clubs and drama and community groups where young people meet, to undertake projects together, play games, discuss, go camping or make music and drama. Non-formal education achievements are usually difficult to certify even if their social recognition is increasing.

Non-formal education should be:

  • Accessible to everyone
  • Participatory
  • Learner-centred
  • Holistic and process-oriented
  • Based on experience and action
  • Organized on the basis of the needs of the participants

Activities to work on the definition of non-formal education

Mind Mapping

Approach: Brainstorming

Target group: Youth workers, educators, young people, etc.

Group Size: 10-30+

Duration: 90 minutes

Material: Flipchart paper; Markers


  • Finding a common definition of non-formal education
  • Encouraging creativity and generating a lot of ideas


  1. Introduce participants to mind mapping.
  2. Allow participant to reflect on this topic, by asking them a simple question or presenting a statement. e.g.:
    • What is reading for you?;
    • or a quote on reading (“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R. R. Martin).
  3. Divide participants in small groups (5-7 max.) and ask them to brainstorm answers on the question/statement to identify the characteristics of non-formal education.
  4. Give 20 minutes to small groups to discuss.
  5. Then, each group should present the results of the discussion using a mind map.
  6. After the presentations, sum up the results and identify a common definition of non-formal education.

Learning outcomes:

  • To gain knowledge on non-formal education approaches
  • To identify the main characteristics of non-formal education

Formal, non-formal or informal education?

Approach: Puzzle, Cooperative activity, Team Work

Target group: Youth workers, educators, young people, etc.

Group Size: 10-30+

Duration: 30-40 minutes



  • Understanding the characteristics of formal, non-formal and informal education
  • Recognizing the differences between different kinds of education


  1. Divide participants in small groups (4-6 people each).
  2. Provide each group with a copy of the empty jigsaw puzzle table.
  3. Give them the definitions to complete the jigsaw puzzle.
  4. Give them 20 minutes to discuss all the definitions and complete the task.
  5. In plenary, check their answers and ask participants to give reasons.
  6. Discuss and clarify each definition with the participants. Make sure they understand these concepts.

Learning outcomes:

  • To gain a broader understanding of formal, informal and non-formal education.
  • To clarify their objectives and to identity similarities and differences among them.

Art-based methodologies


Exploring ideas and issues through arts can allow people to share emotions, thoughts, dreams and creativity they might have never been able to express. Art is an important means of self-expression and communication, especially for those who are not good at using words.

The READ team strongly believes in arts as a means to foster social inclusion of disadvantaged young people, increase their literacy level and prevent early school leaving.

Two main art forms have been used during this learning journey:

  • Dramatization: the adaptation of a literacy resource (e.g., novels, short stories, poems, etc.) in a play performed through different techniques (e.g., theatre, shadow theatre, mime, etc.);
  • Visual arts: it includes different ways of representing a story through images: i.e. photography, drawing, comic design, painting, sand art, etc.