The Story Finders Collective


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The Initiative

Who We Are

The Story Finders Collective (Coletiva Achadouras de Histórias) was founded in 2012 and is composed by six women with different backgrounds and education, residents of the South Zone (Zona Sul) of São Paulo, who got together with the objective to continue reading incentive through actions that take place at the Djeanne Firmino Community Library (Biblioteca Comunitária Djeanne Firmino).  The Library began its activities in 2009, in the hands of the poet and cultural articulator Robinson Padial (know as Binho, from Sarau do Binho) and his sister Lola.  From 2012 up to date, the Coletiva Achadouras de Histórias, creates actions to motivate reading, for literary production, to spread cultural assets, and for a better community living among the residents of Jardim Olinda and neighbors.


Campo Limpo

The Proposal

The project is an training course in reading mediation given to 26 young adults residents of  Jardim Olinda, Campo Limpo, and region. The monthly book clubs will begin at the end of the course and remain until the end of the project.


Reading is an instrument of access and individual, social, and economic development, which is the reason why the industries committed to improving the quality of life in the Brazilian society, have valued it as a fundamental right.

Because of the low national reading rates, these periphery youngsters are the most harmed when they need to face a dispute for a job opportunity and/or try to follow an academic career. On the other hand, this is our main strength of social transformation.

Being a reference in promoting reading and access to art in Jardim Olinda, in Campo Limpo district, is to spread the word about the basic rights set in our Constitution and to promote reading as an irrevocable right, just like Antonio Candido defends in his essay entitled Human Rights to Reading (Direito Humano à Leitura), since literature collaborates to create a shape to feelings and the way the world is seen. To read is a human right, without it there wouldn’t be full citizenship.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) recommends it’s country members to guarantee a minimum of two books per adult.  However, in the city of São Paulo, only Sé and Liberdade neighborhoods (both in a central region), have achieved this goal.  According to data from the non-governmental organization Nossa São Paulo Citizen Observatory (Observatório Cidadão Nossa Senhora), the other regions haven’t even been able to reach the mark of one book per resident.

Besides maintaining the activities that bring the young adults close to the literary and reading universe, this training course hopes to present new opportunities in professional areas and allow for new reading mediation action multipliers in the neighborhood to appear, opening doors to the creation on new collectives, to the appropriation of library space by the youngsters and new literary action in the territory.

We hope that the youngsters create new ways to mediate based on the context of which they live, spreading reading habits in their homes, schools, in after school activity spaces, among others places in their neighborhood.

How It Works

There will be two weekly meetings, with the duration of 2 hours each, held during 4 weeks in May 2019; an additional 4 hours of mediation practice in a public space within the neighborhood, adding up to a total of 20 hours of education in the following dimensions:

  • identity and literature
  • variety of textual and literary genres
  • recognize and value the people’s cultural, ethnic, gender/sexual orientation, and religious diversity
  • human right to reading and literature permeated by a discussion with socially vulnerable young people regarding the corporate world, presenting the book, reading, literature and library areas as a professional field.

The training meetings will be held by the Story Finders Collective (Coletiva Achadouras de Histórias) staff, having Mara Esteves as the main instructor and direct responsible, supported by the other staff members.  Participants won’t be chosen based on specific criteria, the only demand is that they reside in the region and their ages range between 12 and 29 years old.  The participants should apply in person at the of the Djeanne Firmino Community Library (Biblioteca Comunitária Djeanne Firmino) during the month of April 2019, period is yet to be defined.

The Book Clubs are periodic meetings focused in group dialog about the literary plot, reading excerpts, discussions regarding the book, its historical context and elements that the group feels they want to highlight.  The Book Club allows exchange and reflection, and makes the dialog between work and the world the participant lives in, much easier to understand.  The Clubs will be collectively organized with an instructor and the engagement of the course’s young participants.  Participation of these youngsters will be stimulated to so they can be involved in pre-production actions, title selection, and club mediation.  There will be 4 book club meetings for this project, hoping that the youngsters will continue on their own.  All the meetings will happen in a space at the Djeanne Firmino Community Library (Biblioteca Comunitária Djeanne Firmino).

Project Audience

  • Direct beneficiaries: 26 young students attending public schools, residing in Jardim Olinda, Campo Limpo, and region.
  • Indirect beneficiaries: Around 800 people, among family members, library readers, and the community in general. They will benefit from the training of these family youngsters who will periodically take home mediation books, and also, activities taking place in their territories, will be announced for the entire community to engage.

Objectives of the Investment

  • Expand the training offers to young residents of Jardim Olinda, Campo Limpo, and region.
  • Expand the literary repertoire of the course’s young participants and other Library regulars.
  • Encourage the act of book lending and the cultural program of the Djeanne Firmino Community Library (Biblioteca Comunitária Djeanne Firmino), giving continuity to actions that promote reading, to democratization of access to books, and artistic and cultural practices.
  • Map and expand the support network to strengthen the activities and the organization.
  • Involve the community to be the protagonists of improvements to the Library area.
  • Increase visibility and knowledge of the Djeanne Firmino Community Library (Biblioteca Comunitária Djeanne Firmino), inside and outside of territory.