STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.—ArmenianEasy, LLC, a publishing house established in 2019 by Armenian-American sisters Cathy Jacobs Brito and Jenny Jacobs Mullen, has announced the publication of its first book: The Big Book of Armenian Letters, a first-of-its-kind Western Armenian alphabet workbook for children ages four and up. ArmenianEasy’s goal is to provide Western Armenian educational materials that facilitate Armenian language learning (speaking, reading and writing) for all, including those who may not have the benefit of hearing Armenian spoken in their homes. They have several more books planned for the near future.
ArmenianEasy.com and this alphabet workbook were created to fill an educational need. As a homeschooling mother of four, Mullen was trying to find an Armenian workbook to teach her oldest child Armenian. She was looking for preschool/kindergarten level activities that would help teach the Armenian letters, without progressing too quickly. “I wanted something like ‘The Everything Book of Preschool Letters,’ but in Armenian,” said Mullen. “So I turned to my wonderful artist-of-a-sister Cathy…”
Brito, an artist and designer, began creating activity pages for Mullen’s children. The little “side project” quickly blossomed into The Big Book of Armenian Letters, a beautifully illustrated, 328 page, black and white book filled with activities that introduce children to the 38 letters of the Armenian alphabet. The activities include mazes, coloring pages, matching, 240 Armenian words, songs, scripture and more.
Their mother Hourig Toukhanian Jacobs laid the groundwork for this endeavor. As a teacher for the Detroit area ARS schools and as an independent educator, Jacobs taught the Armenian language to learners of all levels and backgrounds for more than 40 years, usually creating her own curricula from scratch. When she was a teenager, Brito used to create ink drawings to illustrate her mother’s weekly lessons. It was through observing her mother’s classes and in their long and animated discussions after her classes that she learned the effectiveness of using simple, repetitive exercises and games to teach students the building blocks of language. This knowledge informed ArmenianEasy’s philosophy for creating teaching materials and “make learning Armenian simple and fun.”