Darien school librarian receives state award

Nicole Choniniere-Kroeker, the librarian at the Tokeneke School, 7 Old Farm Road, in Darien, has won the 2020 Follet Award from the Connecticut Association of School Librarians.

Nicole Choniniere-Kroeker, the librarian at the Tokeneke School, 7 Old Farm Road, in Darien, has won the 2020 Follet Award from the Connecticut Association of School Librarians.

Darien Public Schools / Contributed photo

DARIEN — Nicole Choniniere-Kroeker, the librarian at the Tokeneke School has won the 2020 Follet Award from the Connecticut Association of School Librarians.

The purpose of the award is to recognize an innovative creative instructional lesson that integrates subject content with school library learning standards and technology.

For the past four years, the second grade students at the school have taken a virtual field trip from the school’s library to California to learn about the Watts Towers built by Simon Rodia, who is its creator.

Choniniere-Kroeker chaperones the trip that requires only Google Earth for transportation. Students wander on the sidewalks of the Watts Towers Arts Center so they can observe the amazing structures built by a single man in his backyard with only his hands and small hand tools.

Upon their return, students use this National Historic Landmark to inspire their own tower creations.

Their sculptures remain on display in the library gallery, otherwise known as the Fiction Chapter Book Shelves, for the remainder of the year.

Choiniere-Kroeker introduces the creative project as part of a unit of study exploring different types of nonfiction. For the narrative nonfiction piece, she reads the book “Dream Something Big: A Story of the Watts Towers” that was written by author Dianna Hutts Ashton, and illustrated by Susan Roth.

The narrative nonfiction unit in the library is planned to coincide with the classroom science unit focusing on properties of matter. The lesson in the science unit focuses on the next generation science standard for matter and its interactions.