U.S. Rep. Schakowsky honors award-winning Arlington Heights librarian
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Tuesday honored an Arlington Heights librarian for being one of 10 winners nationwide of the I Love My Librarian Award from the American Library Association.
Maria Papanastassiou, the Kids' World assistant manager at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, was recognized by the association in December for her work in making the library more accessible to children with special needs and their families.
Schakowsky, whose 9th District staff holds regular office hours at the library, recognized Papanastassiou during a short ceremony Tuesday morning in the library's Cardinal Room.
The Evanston congresswoman presented the librarian with a document, detailing the award accomplishments, that will be read into the Congressional Record by Schakowsky on the House floor.
Papanastassiou has led playgroups for children with Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorder and language delays; developed meetups that connect parents and caregivers with developmental therapists in an informal setting; and instituted an early library opening time for children with special needs.
She also leads the library's partnership with C.I.T.Y. of Support, a nonprofit that provides assistance to families with children in therapy.