|Stephanie Peirce (Center) with Friendswood Library ESL Learners|
In November of 2014, library director Mary Perroni and the Friendswood Library board approved the establishment of an annual award to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding cultural programming to the Friendswood Library community.
The Friendswood Public Library is proud to announce the 2018 recipient of this annual Outstanding Cultural Programming award is Stephanie Pilar Peirce.
Stephanie Peirce and her husband moved to Friendswood six years ago from the East Coast and immediately fell in love with the live oaks, the crowned night herons, the sandhill cranes, and the welcoming neighbors. Leaving a background in social work, Stephanie began tutoring ESL/ABE students at Adult Reading Center in Pearland and took a position as Program Coordinator at Literacy Advance of Houston in Clear Lake. After training to tutor ESL/ELA for Harris County Libraries in Galena Park and Webster, and participating in their Book Buddies Program which encourages reading skills in children grades K-3rd, Stephanie began looking for opportunities closer to home. Fortuitously, Friendswood Library was undergoing its renovation and transformation. Upon meeting with reference librarian Kim Zrubek, they quickly discovered their shared passion for literacy, and in September 2016 Friendswood Library ESL Conversation classes were launched. Since that time they have held about 50 class sessions and supported 50 learners in their journey.
ESL learners have come from Brazil, China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam, with languages including Chinese/Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Farsi/Persian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese, Ukrainian/Russian, Hindi, and Gujarati.
The 2018 Outstanding Cultural Programming award will be presented to Stephanie Peirce at the conclusion of the Poets in the Loop poetry reading program on Thursday, February 22nd from 7 – 8pm.