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Protecting students from the sun


Barbara Jo Smith, skin cancer survivor and principal of Juniata Elementary School in DuBois, Pennsylvania, knows the importance of seeking shade.

Barbara's story

Students at Juniata Elementary School are thankful to have a sun-safe place to play outside.
Students at Juniata Elementary School are thankful to have a sun-safe place to play outside.
Students at Juniata Elementary School are thankful to have a sun-safe place to play outside.
We were so happy to be able to build a wonderful shade structure thanks to the AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program. Through the efforts and recommendations of AAD member Ryan Andrulonis, MD, FAAD Juniata Elementary School was awarded funds to build a shade structure and provide much-needed shade in an area of our playground. Plus, we were lucky to have Robert Pannone, a local contractor who also has children in the school, design and build the structure.

Juniata's wellness curriculum provides the students with information and guidance on sun-related issues and how to prevent them. I’ve already noticed students taking a couple of minutes to come in the shade and cool themselves down and then go back out and play with their friends. This structure shows the students a useful means to prevent overexposure to the sun.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and our shade structure, which covers a portion of the playground, will help protect 274 students each day from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays as they play outdoors. Now our students, both this year and in the future, will have the benefit of this wonderful structure. We’re so happy that all of these students will now have shade while they use the play area. Our students, faculty, and families have all said how thankful they are for this shade structure.

Support AAD Shade Structures

The AAD Shade Structure Program provides grants for permanent shade structures in outdoor areas such as playgrounds, pools, or recreation spaces. Learn more about how you can get involved.

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