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Clovis High School, Clovis, CA

Clovis High School in Clovis, CA taught sun safety with the SunWise program. Students were taught about ultraviolet (UV) radiation through the use of the UV-sensitive Frisbee and innovative activities created by one of the teachers. Clovis High School also built shade structures and placed bottles of sunscreen in locker rooms for students to use before going outdoors for physical education classes.

Northridge High School and teacher Kay Hanson, Greeley CO

Kay Hanson, physical education teacher at Northridge High School in Greeley, CO, worked to receive $15,000 worth of grants from the Colorado Department of Education to promote sun safety. The grant money helped the school plant trees around the campus, buy tents for the track team and sunglasses for school employees that work outside. Hanson also geared efforts toward changing attitudes regarding indoor tanning and sunbathing. As prom approached, Hanson organized a Sun Safe Pre-prom Fashion Show. The fashion show promoted positive opinions of un-tanned skin as well as alternative tanning methods such as spray-on and wipe-on self tanners. Participants of the show signed contracts promising not to tan using unsafe methods. With the support of local businesses, the sophomore class used the fashion show as a fundraiser and all 500 fashion show attendees received goodie bags with sunless tanning samplers.

Massabesic Junior High School and teacher Daniel Chuhta, Waterboro, ME

Daniel Chuhta, winner of a 2004 Helios Award from the EPA SunWise program and a science teacher at Massabesic Junior High in Waterboro, Maine, taught his students about the UV Index and how to use the SunWise program’s educational tools. He also developed a class website that featured a link to the SunWise program so his students could stay informed about UV Index daily.

Elementary school urges its students to practice sun safety, Salt Lake City, Utah

Paul Bergera, the principal at South Jordan Elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah, recognized the need for sun safety among elementary school children. Jordan School District’s dress code policy prohibited students from wearing hats and sunglasses indoors; however it did not preclude their use outdoors on school grounds.

South Jordan Elementary was a new school with young trees offering little to no shade for children on sunny days. Mr. Bergera noticed children crouching in the shade next to the portables rather than playing at recess. Recognizing the importance of exercise, while acknowledging the need for protection from the sun, Mr. Bergera decided to encourage and remind the children to wear hats, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen when outdoors.

In addition to encouraging sun safe behaviors, Mr. Bergera invited the Huntsman Cancer Institute Education and Outreach Program to conduct an assembly at the school, educating students about skin cancer and the importance of sun safety. Posters of the staff’s sun safety catchphrase are posted in the lunchroom and hallways; SLIP-Slip on protective clothing; SLOP-Slop on the sunscreen; SLAP-Slap on a hat; WRAP-Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes; CHECK-Check the UV index for the day; and PLAY-Enjoy playing outside but play in the shade when possible.

When asked about common concerns for allowing the use of hats at school including the possible spread of lice, keeping track of hats, and gang affiliation, Mr. Bergera said that he had not experienced any problems in these areas. Hats are treated the same as other personal property items such as jackets and umbrellas, they are kept in their desk or backpack when not in use. For this reason, the spread of head lice and keeping track of the hats had not been a problem. Despite the fact that Mr. Bergera did not designate a color or style of hat to be worn, he had not experienced any problems with kids wearing the hats as a representation of gang affiliation.

Mr. Bergera was careful to note that he was not violating or undermining school district policy in any way. He believed the Jordan School District was in support of his decision to encourage these sun safe behaviors at his elementary school.

Deans, T. Jordans: Soak up sun -- with care. (2007, May 10). Salt Lake Tribune

Other links:

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Promoting Sun Safety in California Elementary Schools.

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