2018 Innovator of the year award - Innovate LI
From Innovate LI:
Innovator of the Year: Joan Bucchino
The skinny: Straight from the Heartbreak to Heroism file, as mom turns personal tragedy into inspirational hope.
Joan Bucchino would like to introduce you to Amazing Grace the angelic inspiration behind SMARTgame®. Bucchino, who lost her 13-year-old daughter Grace to the rare metabolic disorder Sanfilippo syndrome in 2014, is the creator of the game, a series of pay-it-forward challenges designed to empower youngsters while promoting kind and healthy habits. It is distributed through schools, simple to implement, and useful for any child.
As president and strategic director of Huntington-based J. Grace Corp., the heartfelt entrepreneur works to bridge the gap between homes, schools and communities by empowering young children with successful habits. It all revolves around SMARTgame, a powerful and versatile tool designed to teach young children (ages 4 to 11) to make productive choices independently and consistently. 1GreenNation is an LED lighting distributorship which was born from the “Love my Planet” SMARTgame® where children practice lowing their energy bills at home, together with their parents as fellow students and teachers play along. When customers purchase lighting from 1GreenNation, young children receive SMARTgames® as grants through their teachers at school.
“I feel grateful that SmartGAME® can change the behaviors of thousands of children (and adults) at a time. And it all came from observing the special learning needs of my daughter Grace who couldn’t even speak."
better buildings =BRIGHTER KIDs
Children's Health Hero
Our story starts with Grace, a special little girl who had a rare disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome/MPS IIIB. Grace was missing a crucial enzyme, this deficiency caused a "storage" condition in in her body, rendering her unable to eliminate excess cellular waste. This build-up caused degenerative effects and sadly, there was no treatment or cure. Today, Grace's legacy carries on as amA+zing Grace, inspiring children and adults to take healthful actions which eliminate excess "build up" in their own systems, and in the environment we all share. The spreadable/sharable..dust compound that comes from amA+zing Grace's feet is called "Inner Shine Enzyme." Students manufacture this via smart decision making, and share it freely. We have plenty to share with adults too! Grown-ups that make smart decisions are very important role models for children. When you do your part to save energy with us, you are making a very smart move because we place our educational programs into schools to improve the lives of children and our planet! We partner with utility companies, innovative educators, and visionary public health leaders to supply a superior quality educational product to school districts across the country. We partner with building owners, property managers, and businesses of all kinds to grow children right!