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."