An assembly was held in the morning on Jan. 31 at Groton Elementary School to announce the honoring of an award from a national organization to one of its own students.
Fifth Grader Hudson Scaglione was presented with the Good Deed Award by the National American Legion Auxiliary, an award that honors a young boy or girl who donates time and/or money for a worthy cause. Betty Conger, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, nominated Scaglione for the award and presented it to him this past Friday for his efforts in taking care of the environment and his charities to the school.
Scaglione said he was utterly shocked, but also very excited to receive such an honor.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Scaglione said. “I was not expecting this whatsoever. I never expected this.”
When he was in second grade, Scaglione entered a book that he had written called “The Beautiful Great Barrier Reef” into the 2017 PBS KIDS Writers Contest and won first place among competitors in the Upstate/Southern Tier region. The book encourages children to use reusable water bottles. Scaglione said he has always had the urge to tell people to stop polluting the environment.
“I was on the bus once and I see this really polluted thing, and I’m like, ‘I need to tell people to not do this,’” he said. “So I wrote a book and it ended up winning first place.”
Conserving the environment is something Scaglion is immensely passionate about and hopes others can see just why he cares so much about the planet.
“My dream is to make people care more about Earth,” he said during his speech last Friday. “Earth won’t last forever if we keep living like this. Oceans will die if we do not keep them safe. So try to use less plastic, because plastic kills animals and we need biodiversity.”
Scaglione also owns his own online business called “Hudson’s Sauces and Goodies.” He, along with his sister Caroline, cook sauces and other foods using fruits and vegetables grown from his own garden. Twenty percent of the profits he makes from his goods is donated to a program for the school that involved the construction of a tank that houses and raises baby trout that will eventually be released into a stream.
“Ever since I was two I’ve always been interested in cooking stuff,” he said. “I always helped my mom put stuff into stuff and cut stuff and put it in.”
In his speech that day, Scaglione talked about how much more enjoyable it is to grow your own food.
“It’s so boring to go shopping for food,” he said. “It’s way more fun to grow your own food and cook it later.”
His passion for protecting the environment also feeds into his passion for cooking. He said he avoids using insecticides on any of his crops in his garden.
“The stuff you put on plants to get rid of the bugs is actually really pollusive and it can really hurt the environment,” he said. “I don’t use it.”
As he grows older, Scaglione has aspirations of expanding upon his current online business.
“I want to see if I can take people out on a ride on boats, while still holding this business, and show them how I eventually get fish to sell in the business,” he said. “Eventually, once this gets bigger, I might sell fish and stuff – like baby fish I could sell.”
Already an accomplished individual at just 10-years-old, Scaglione emphasized to his fellow students in his speech the belief that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
“If I had to say one thing to all the kids out there, I would say nothing is impossible,” he said. “If you work hard for it, you can do anything. You could be a millionaire. You can do anything. It is only possible if you put the work into it.”