Parents of young children in the Armenian-American community have long complained of a shortage of child-friendly books and magazines in the Armenian language. For children 7 and under, parents can find hundreds of books with simple stories, basic vocabulary, and powerful images — in English. Not so in Armenian.
Enter Juliette Davtian. Her clear vision: to give Armenian children a colorful and fun way to see and hear stories in Armenian, to learn reading and counting in Armenian, and to relate to the world around them in the Armenian language.
“Children learn best through colorful images,” Davtian said. “They have different talents. As adults, we should recognize children’s different styles of learning and interacting, and promote the best possible development of their natural strengths and weaknesses.”
The magazine has colorful artwork and will feature stories, poems, riddles, songs, cut-and-paste projects, children’s cooking projects, a bit of science, and more. Using classical Armenian spelling, the magazine is in both Eastern and Western Armenian.
A successful venture starts with a vision, but it requires much more. Davtian brings it all to the table. She has an MBA and marketing experience, as well as years of experience as a preschool teacher, Armenian Saturday school teacher, and a resident counselor for children and teenage girls, With a degree in psychology and child development, she is exceptionally well prepared for the venture she has started.
Now it’s a matter of hard work and enthusiastic community response.
“Starting a print publication in the Armenian-American community, especially in a time of economic uncertainty, is not a safe path to take, and several people have kindly reminded me of this fact,” Davtian said.
“At the same time, I have been touched by the generous support of several distinguished members of our community. They understand that our community needs an excellent children’s magazine, and share my confidence that parents and children will be excited to have ‘Gakavig’ in their homes every month.”
“Gakavig” will be available through several Armenian schools and in Southern California grocery stores. Subscriptions are available by calling 818.548.2438 or writing firstname.lastname@example.org