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2015 National Grid Spotlight Award
Massachusetts winner:  John J. Doran School,  Fall River

My name is Mona Carpin and I am a School Adjustment Counselor at the John J. Doran School in Fall River Massachusetts. I was very excited to learn about the Green in Action Award initiative and would like to propose the Doran School Green Thumb Project.

John. J. Doran School is an inner city school, servicing students from kindergarten to 8th grade. The majority of our students are from low socio-economic backgrounds. They come to us with a variety of life stressors, traumas and an array of personal and social disadvantages. Our dedicated staff works closely with students (and their families) in a pro-active and collaborative effort to create a nurturing environment, where students feel safe and cared for, prosper and grow, are able to achieve and many times exceed, the expectations placed upon them. We strive to be a family and to make our students feel that they are genuinely loved, cared for and accepted.

It is with this spirit in mind that the Doran School Green Thumb Project was born. This project consists of having students and teachers plant perennials on school grounds and consequently care for the future growth and wellbeing of these plants. The choice of planting perennials is intended to allow students to witness, season after season, the blooming results of their efforts and to remind them of a special activity they shared with their teachers. Students will accompany the growth of each plant, and its transformations as the seasons change, much like they are accompanied by the staff as they grow, change and mature. In addition, Student Government participants will be leaders in the project, being responsible for its care and maintenance.

For us, the notion of sustainability is multifaceted; we sustain our environment, as well as ourselves and each other.

The proceeds would help us bring this project to fruition in order to do the following:

  • strengthen the collaborative relationship between teachers and students.
  • foster within each student both personal and school pride.
  • increase environmental awareness and sense of personal responsibility for the environment (both the school environment and our planet).
  • bring life, color and vibrancy to a predominantly industrial urban setting.

We hope to be able to gift our students with this simple, yet enriching, activity that most inner-city school children rarely experience. And we hope that you will support the John J. Doran School Green Thumb Project.

Mona Carpin, School Adjustment Counselor, John J. Doran Elementary School, Fall River, Massachusetts had this to say about winning: “‘The Green Thumb Project’ is an opportunity to build both environmental awareness and a sense of commitment in our students – an obligation to assume responsibility for our planet, our city, our school and each other. This will be an exceptional day for Doran students as they continue on their journey in learning to nurture the love they share for their school, their teachers, their friends, themselves and “our plants.”  The John J. Doran School would like to personally thank National Grid for making this day possible, as well as all the days to follow in the years to come as students watch and care for their plants, a possibility.”