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Croton-Harmon Librarian Wins International Storytelling Award

Librarian Melissa Heckler.
Librarian Melissa Heckler. Photo Credit: submitted

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School Librarian Melissa Heckler was recently named as a winner of the National Storytelling Network's International StoryBridge Award, a storytelling honor.

According to a statement from the Croton-Harmon school district, recipients of the award exhibit exemplary work and dedication and promote bridges between countries through the use of storytelling or storytelling events.

Heckler said she was nominated for the award by Carol Birch, an internationally renowned storyteller.

"She submitted a lengthy, detailed description of my storytelling work here in the United States and, for 26 summer breaks, in Namibia," Heckler said. "She also submitted six letters of recommendation written by professionals in the fields of anthropology, literature, storytelling and academia."

According to the school district, Heckler has a lifelong love and reading and enjoys sharing that passion.

“Twenty-six years ago, I co-founded the Village Schools in the Kalahari in Namibia,” Heckler said, adding that she continues to volunteer work with the schools during her summers. "Storytelling is a central teaching tool, and is well utilized by the Ju/'hoansi - our oldest democracy - in educating their children.

"The bridges I built connected American students to African students through the medium of storytelling," Heckler said.

The librarian also has visited Vienna to present her work at an international anthropology conference

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