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Students win ad contest to benefit Proctor School

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Northborough – Northborough sixth-graders Derek Lawless and Nick Steiman, both 11, have moved on to middle school this year, but will leave a legacy behind at their elementary school that will help keep students healthier. Soon, when students at Proctor Elementary School are outdoors enjoying recess and take a break in the shade, they will benefit from the gift that the school has received because of Derek and Nick.

The two friends teamed up to work on a project last spring that resulted in an award-winning entry into the SafeSkin Ad Contest sponsored by the Melanoma Foundation of New England.

For the elementary school category, the project was to create a newspaper or magazine ad. Entries were to include specific messages that the foundation wanted to focus on: have yearly skin exams, sunburns are very dangerous, stay out of tanning beds, and apply sunscreen of at least SPF-15 every two hours while outside.

The prize for winning entries in each category is a $1,500 grant for the winner's school to be used for sun protection.

"The melanoma contest worked with our grade five science curriculum," said Margaret Donohoe, principal of Proctor. "Diane Gage [school nurse] shared the contest information with Kristen MacDonald [fifth-grade teacher]. Kristen was able to weave the contest into her lesson planning and worked with her students on the project."

The boys returned to Proctor School Oct. 25, with their parents, to meet with representatives from the Melanoma Foundation and to accept the check for the school.

Martin Padley, board member of the Melanoma Foundation, and Amy Mason, event manager for the Melanoma Foundation, spoke of how the contest was designed to generate ads that will be used to educate people throughout New England.

The hope is that kids will educate kids and adults about sunsafe behavior.

Padly said that the ad Derek and Nick created stood out among the 300 to 400 entries because they boys took the same message that all entries included, but they made it interesting and unique.

"Derek and Nick's ad was presented in poetry, which makes reading it different from some ads in which people may feel preached to," he said. "The boys stepped out of the box and were very clever in how they presented the message."

According to the foundation, the grant money can be used for any type of sun protection.

Donohoe complimented Derek and Nick on their "imaginative and creative" ad.

"We see the gift from the Melanoma Foundation as a wonderful way for our former students Derek and Nick to give back to their elementary school," Donohoe said. "The money will be used to plant shade trees near the playground so everyone in the community will benefit from their award in the years to come."

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=1283

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