Shade Structure Grant Program promotes childhood sun-safe behavior
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The Academy’s Shade Structure Grant Program, founded in 2003, has resulted in the building of more than 250 shade structures at pools, playgrounds, and recreation spaces located at schools and non-profit organizations focused on children across the United States. Those structures provide daily sun protection for more than half a million people. Each grant provides the chosen organization with up to $8,000 to build an approved shade structure.

The participation of Academy members is vital to the program’s continued success. Each application requires a recommendation letter from a member. This year’s application cycle runs through Feb. 1, 2013, with grant awards to be announced April 1 in conjunction with National Playground Safety Week. Members can proactively recommend that local organizations consider applying; application information is available at More information about the program, including advice about helping an organization apply, is available at

While the program has grown from three grants in 2003 to more than 250 to date (see below), providing shade to more than 563,000 people each day, it needs financial support to thrive as the demand for the program continues to grow while the resources to support it become increasingly limited. Consider supporting the Shade Structure Grant Program with a Sustaining Fund contribution. Learn more at