DIAVAZONTAS MEGALONO is an interdisciplinary non-profit organization, founded in 2013 by librarians, educators, health professionals and experts in Reading, Literacy and Literature areas. Its mission is to encourage children’s systematic, unprompted engagement in reading and to ensure access to reading materials from early age; to facilitate the creation of a stimulating reading environment for children in which they will become motivated, engaged and skilled readers.
DIAVAZONTAS MEGALONO is the first organization in Greece that focused on literacy issues, highlighting the relevant surveys and the scientific evidences on the importance of early childhood literacy interventions. The organization aims:
- To raise awareness regarding reading and literacy in Greece;
- To encourage and mobilize national authorities to adopt policies aimed to provide more reading opportunities to all children, especially those belonging in disadvantaged groups;
- To inform health professionals on the importance of reading for children’s linguistic, emotional, cognitive and social development and to encourage them to participate in early childhood literacy initiatives;
- To establish collaborations among health professionals, educators and librarians in order to design and implement reading promotion programmes for babies and toddlers;
- To exchange knowledge and collaborate with organizations and institutions (both national and international) which focus on literacy and/or implement reading promotion programmes;
- To conduct research and collect data on reading and literacy related fields.
DIAVAZONTAS MEGALONO organizes conferences and open events on the importance of reading in every child’s life, training courses for health professionals, teachers and librarians, as well as reading activities for children.
DIAVAZONTAS MEGALONO collaborates with key-role institutions and organizations, as well as with publishers, authors and illustrators and it has already created a network of interlocutors and stakeholders, which support in various ways its activities. The most important outcome of those collaborations is the establishment of the first Library for Babies and Toddlers in Greece; the organization was actively involved in the strategical and practical preparation and running of the Library, which it continues to support thanks to a memorandum signed with the Municipality of Athens.
DIAVAZONTAS MEGALONO runs several committees, such as the Committee of Experts in Children’s Literature that studies, reviews, evaluates and classifies children’s books published in Greece; the Committee for the Implementation of a Pilot Early Literacy Promotion Programme run by Health Visitors; the Committee for the Organization of Reading Activities in Libraries, etc.