Oak Grove Elementary School Receives Grant For Shade Structures

One of the ways to protect yourself from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun is to seek shade, especially during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  However, for many daycare centers, schools and recreational organizations, these hours are prime times for outdoor educational programs and recess.  To assist schools and organizations in creating sun-safe educational and play areas, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) provides grants for shade structures

The Academy recently announced the recipients of the 2012 AAD Shade Structure Program grants, which included Oak Grove Elementary School as one of 18 recipients across the country.

“The Academy is pleased to award grants to these organizations which have outdoor areas in need of shade and that have demonstrated a commitment to sun safety,” said dermatologist Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy.  “Combined, these 18 shade structures will be used by more than 5,400 individuals every day.  The Academy is proud to work with these organizations to reinforce the importance of protecting the skin when outdoors.”

This is the 12th year that the Academy has offered its Shade Structure Program in which Academy members play an integral role by encouraging local organizations to apply for the grants and by writing letters of support, a requirement for consideration of applications.  The program is open to non-profit organizations or educational institutions serving children and teens under the age of 18, for permanent shade structures over outdoor locations which are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools, eating areas and other locations.

Dr. Allison K. Divers, of the Art and Science of Dermatology, acted as Oak Grove’s sponsoring AAD member.  “As a dermatologist I am very passionate about sun protection and the prevention of skin cancer, said Divers. “It has been an honor to play a role in the process that resulted in the shade structure award to Oak Grove Elementary.  It is very exciting!”

Frances Rogers, Oak Grove’s PTA President said, “We are thrilled with the AAD grant.  It allowed us to purchase not one, but two sun canopies for our main playground.  Now our children can play and get much needed exercise in the shade.  Oak Grove’s PTA is grateful to both Dr. Divers and School Nurse Emelie Moles for their support of our grant application.”

Since 2000, the Academy has awarded a total of 264 shade structure grants to organizations across the country. Taken together, these shade structures provide shade each day for nearly 563,955 individuals.

More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually.

 For more information, contact Frances Rogers, Oak Grove Elementary School PTA, fjrogers1@yahoo.com or 540-776-1834