By Cathleen Twardzik
The awards for Somerville’s Woman of Excellence, as well as of Best Service Provider to Women were presented recently at the Somerville Commission for Women’s Annual Women’s History Month Reception.
This year, Marylin Eastwood, East Branch Librarian, received the 2013 Woman of Excellence Award from the Commission for Women “because she directs the English as a Second Language program with grace and skill, creates programming that is inviting to diverse communities and families at the east branch library, and makes the library a comfortable place for youth after school,” said Sonja Darai of the Office of Somerville Commissions, which includes the Somerville Commission for Women.
Additionally, Somerville Public Libraries was honored with the 2013 Best Service Provider to Women Award “because it has made major strides to be a vibrant component to individuals, families, kids, teens, and women’s lives. Women receive so much from the library when they, themselves, can benefit from programming, but also have a place for their whole family,” said Darai.
At this year’s reception, the keynote speaker was Dr. Karen Hacker of the Institute for Community Health. “During these very difficult financial times, the library has strived to be comprehensive in job search assistance, language improvement, homework help, community engagement, baby care and child rearing programming, and loving books,” she said.
Commissioners nominate women from Somerville each year. Beginning in March 2005, a reception has been part of the Somerville Commission for Women’s March Women’s History Month, and since 2006, the commission has been presenting awards to an organization for Best Service Provider to Women, as well bestowing the award for Woman of Excellence to a deserving Somerville woman for her service to women.
At present, reception attendees include elected officials, community leaders and the Somerville Police Department.
In 2005, the First Women’s History Reception took place at city hall in Somerville. Since 2006, the event has occurred on an annual basis at the Visiting Nurses Association.
For additional information, interested individuals may contact the Office of Somerville Commissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 625-6600, ext. 2400.