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Adams County School District 14, Commerce City, Colorado

Adams County School District 14, recently adopted a sun safety policy by incorporating sun safety into Administrative Regulation (ADF-R) Student Wellness. The district’s goals for student wellness encompass nutrition education, nutrition standards, and physical activity standards. Their commitment to sun safety is detailed in the Physical Activity Standards section Goal #2. Specifically, students are encouraged to wear hats and protective clothing, use sunscreen and lip balm, and wear sunglasses when outdoors. Students and staff are also encouraged to utilize shade when congregating outdoors. To ensure that there is adequate shade available; administrators will designate a person at each school site to evaluate existing shade and to make recommendations for additional shade if necessary.

Educating students about the purpose of sun safety is equally important to this district. ADF-R recommends sun safety education for all students K-12. Topics include the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation as well as skin cancer prevention.

Adopting policy is only part of the solution. Implementing the policy and making sure that students and staff are encouraged to practice sun safety is important as well. At Adams County School District 14, Chief Operating Office, Mike Grandstaff, is communicating their sun safety policy to personnel and students by sending sun safety posters to each school. He recommends that they be posted near the Health Clinic or any other area deemed beneficial by the school principal. These posters will be a visual reminder to students and staff about the importance of sun safety.

Join Adams County School District 14 in supporting sun safety by adopting and implementing a sun safety policy in your district. Educating children about the perils of overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays, and teaching them how to protect themselves today can save a life tomorrow.

District School Board of Collier County, Florida

Teryl Brzeski and Sea Gate Elementary School have 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 two years to ensure that the school board would vote for this safety measure.

According to the EPA’s SunWise program, Collier County is likely 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.

East Grand School District

East Grand School District will have a policy that allows and encourages students to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses and allows students to apply sunscreen whenever they are outdoors. The policy also has language that recommends that each school begin looking at what types of shade opportunities are available for staff and students. Sun safety has been incorporated into the district Wellness Policy and a Grand County Public Health nurse has gone to each school and made a presentation on sun safety to the staff. Staff have been excellent role models for the students by practicing sun safety when outdoors.

Moffat Consolidated School District, Saguache County, Colorado

The inclusion of "Sun Safety for Students and Personnel" as part of the newly written Moffat Consolidated School District School Wellness Policy (ADF), adopted June, 2006, is an important success associated with our sun safety grant. We will be introducing the policy to the students, staff and community in the Fall of 2006. Staff will periodically attend training on the integration of sun safety into the classroom across grade level and curricular areas. Living in the rarefied air of Colorado, at 8,000 feet elevation, we believe that making our students aware of sun safety measures, along with other healthy life options, is something we can and will do. We expect that this new emphasis on health will become a pervasive part of our school culture and will have positive results on the local level and beyond.

Sun Safety Education Mandates, Arizona

In January of 2003, 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 has joined other states in implementing the Coordinated School Health Program (CHSP) in schools and classrooms so that students are ready to learn. Under CHSP, we successfully implemented the SunSense program. The program goal - 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, caregivers, and children; implement sun safety curriculum and promote parent and community awareness.

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