Students at Lucille S. Rogers Elementary School will be made in the shade on the school’s playground with the recent donation of seven shade trees, plus an additional $3,000 to purchase more. The donations were provided as part of the school’s involvement with the Sun Smart Schools program, a statewide sun safety and skin cancer prevention program for students in pre-K through 12th grade. The trees will be dedicated at a school assembly Thursday, May 11 at 10:55 a.m.
“We are so grateful to Ragnar Relay Series and Star Nursery for the initial donation of four shade trees, which led to a donation of three more from the community,” said Kip Krzmarzick, principal at Rogers Elementary School. “At Rogers, our commitment is to help students perform at their highest level. Adding natural sun protection to our playgrounds allows them to enjoy the outdoors and stay active through physical education while remaining ‘sun smart.’”
Inspired by the initial tree donations, Rogers’ PE teacher Bjorn Berg, who also spearheads Sun Smart Schools activities, launched the funding campaign to purchase even more trees, securing support from parents, school staff, and local supporters. The funds raised, more than $3,000, will allow the school to purchase more shade trees. Additional sun safety activities at the school include UV-sensitive bracelets for students, access to sunscreen, and sun safety education.
The donations came to the school in the midst of Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, recognized each May as a way to educate on the importance of sun safety and early detection in reducing the number of cases of skin cancer. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the number of Americans who have had skin cancer at some point in the last three decades is estimated to be higher than the number for all other cancers combined. And melanoma has become one of the most common cancers among the nation’s adolescents and young adults.
Nevada Cancer Coalition launched Sun Smart Nevada, and the youth program Sun Smart Schools, in 2015 to help reduce the number of skin cancer cases diagnosed in Nevada. The program, now practiced in nearly two dozen schools in four districts statewide, helps schools to establish sun safety policies, provides free sun safety curriculum for grades pre-K through 12, and offers automatic sunscreen dispensers to schools for recess and other outdoor activities. School sun safety assemblies and guest speakers are also provided.
For more information on Sun Smart Schools, skin cancer prevention and early detection visit http://sunsmartnevada.org