Libraries Change Peoples Lives 2019
The Library's English Language Learning program began 11 years ago with one on one small group English tutoring. From those early days, the library expanded the program into a robust educational program that includes adult English classes in partnership with Pinellas County Schools, volunteer led Conversation Clubs, Citizenship and Naturalization preparation classes, and for the last two years the Welcoming Week refugee basket drive. Along with this, the library has offered Career Online High School and roughly half the participants in that program started as English Learning Language program students.
Named in honor of Florida State University's Dr. Maria Chavez-Hernandez, the purpose of this award is to recognize an individual library employee or group of employees who have made a demonstrably positive and big difference in the lives of Florida's library users.