Judith’s Reading Room Opens Library in Greece

A village declares its first community library.

Vicky Xanathopoulou, second from left.

Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith Krug, a librarian, announced today the dedication of its 98th library in its 21st country in collaboration with a visionary and unstoppable elementary school teacher from a village on an island in north Greece.

The village of Potamia, on Thassos Island, did not have a community library, making it difficult for children to celebrate the joy of reading and to develop literacy skills. That was until Vicky Xanathopoulou reached out across oceans to apply online for the 2019 Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award. Xanathopoulou won the coveted 2019 “Judith’s Award,” for which only teachers, librarians or authors are eligible. To augment her $500 cash prize, for which she flew to New York City to accept, the organization decided to help her establish a community library in her seaside village.

The 98th Judith’s Reading Room library is housed inside the historic Cultural Union of Polignotos Vagis stone building, originally used as a fishing sanctuary for monks. A museum, it hosts cultural events and will now house the community library. Judith’s Reading Room provided 75 children’s books in English. Villagers are augmenting the library by donating books from their home collections. All books will be available for loan and families will enjoy organized reading activities and book presentations. In all, 150 children will be served by the library.

“I’m so happy and grateful for the opportunity given by Judith’s Reading Room to the children of my village to have more reading and cultural experiences,” said Xanathopoulou.

 

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