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District School Board of Collier County, Florida

Teryl Brzeski and Sea Gate Elementary School worked with the Collier County School Board to help devote over $2.1 million dollars towards shade structures for all 22 elementary school playgrounds. Ms. Brzeski, whose daughter attends school in Collier County, lobbied the school district for nearly 2 years to ensure that the school board would vote for this safety measure.

According to the EPA’s SunWise program, Collier Countywas the first county in the U.S. to cover all of its elementary school playgrounds with shade. The shade structures at each of the playgrounds were put in place over the summer, in time for the new school year. The canopies are made of mesh polyethylene and block out 90 to 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays but still allow heat to escape. They also lower the temperature underneath by 15 degrees making recess even more enjoyable for students.

Sun Safety Education Mandates, Arizona

The Arizona Department of Health Services implemented the SunWise School Program for public elementary schools in Arizona. With SunWise, students are taught sun safety skills to prevent overexposure to the sun. Schools are also encouraged to install shade structures and create sun safety policy. In 2005, Arizona became the first state in the U.S. to mandate sun safety education for all K-8 public and charter schools.

The Department of Health Services has developed a number of partnerships to implement the SunWise program, most notably with the American Cancer Society, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cancer Center and the SHADE Foundation.

SunSense, North Carolina

North Carolina joined other states in implementing the Coordinated School Health Program (CHSP) in schools and classrooms so that students are ready to learn. One of the programs implemented within the CHSP was the SunSense program. The goal of this program was to reduce UV exposure by implementing a state-wide school-based skin cancer prevention program. To achieve this goal, the program focused on synergistic campaigns and strategies to train educators, their caregivers, and children, implement sun safety curriculum and promote parent and community awareness.

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Promoting Sun Safety in California Elementary Schools.

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