January 27, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 17 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
HONORING MARIA PAPANASTASSIOU; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 17
(Extensions of Remarks - January 27, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E88] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING MARIA PAPANASTASSIOU ______ HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY of illinois in the house of representatives Monday, January 27, 2020 Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the work and dedication of Ms. Maria Papanastassiou, a librarian and Kids' World assistant manager at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Ms. Papanastassiou was one of 10 librarians in the country to receive the national ``I Love My Librarian Award'' for 2019-2020 from the American Library Association. Maria Papanastassiou was nominated by her colleagues who felt that through her work, families with diverse needs have found a home and a welcoming, inclusive place at the library. Ms. Papanastassiou works hard to help families connect with one another and receive crucial support. Ms. Papanastassiou leads play groups for children with Down Syndrome, Cerebal Palsy, sensory processing disorders and language delays. She organizes creative learning opportunities such as story boards with felt characters to help with language development, crafts for fine motor development, instant snow powder for sensory exploration, a circus tent for children who require low-sensory environments, stepping stones for gross motor skills, and activities to facilitate imaginative play. And she instituted ``Early Open for Families'' so that children of diverse needs can experience library exhibits in a quiet setting before the library opens the door to the public. In addition to her service to children with special needs, Ms. Papanastassiou created meetups for parents, caregivers, and developmental therapists to get together in an informal setting. She also leads the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's partnership with C.I.T.Y. of Support, a nonprofit that aids families with children in therapy. My office has worked closely with the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to ensure that our shared constituents receive effective and efficient assistance. My district staff holds regular neighborhood office hours in the library. Maria Papanastassiou is a dedicated, compassionate and creative librarian and I deeply admire her conscientious work to provide a safe place and learning environment for families with diverse needs. On behalf of the constituents of the 9th Congressional District, I thank Maria for her service and congratulate her on this award. ____________________