Working with a local dermatologist to teach sun safety
Bonnie J. Reece, Executive Director of St. Louis Transitional Hope House, was surprised and pleased when the organization received a shade structure grant through the AAD’s Adopt-a-Shade program.
In May 2017, Hope House St. Louis submitted a proposal for pro bono architectural services through the 1+ pro bono design marketplace. We were put in touch with a Principal of Trivers Associates, a prominent St. Louis architectural firm. During our association with Trivers Associates, a young project designer sent us information about a grant available from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for shade structures. The opportunity had been brought to her attention by one of the architects in the office. The young project designer recognized that this grant would be perfect for one of our playgrounds.
We found that in order to be eligible to apply for the grant, we needed at minimum a year’s worth of sun safety education programming here at Hope House. Sun safety was an important topic for our primarily African American student population, so we reached out to Carrie C. Coughlin, MD, FAAD, a very accomplished dermatologist associated with the Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Coughlin was enthusiastic about the project and saw the opportunity to educate our teachers about sun safety to benefit the children, and the opportunity for dermatology students to bring services to the community. She targeted summer, winter, and spring education sessions to meet the grant's requirements. Three on-site sessions were held on Saturdays in March 2019, August 2019, and December 2019.
We submitted an application in December 2019. Unfortunately, we soon received notice that our application was not selected for funding.
We were pleasantly surprised when, more than one year later, we received a call from a representative of the AAD notifying us that Hope House was being awarded a grant for a shade structure! This was made possible through the AAD’s Adopt-a-Shade program. Later, we were notified that the grant award had been upgraded to a shade structure AND playground refresh award! The AAD grant was supplemented with additional funding from Youth in Need and the American Heart Association, so in addition to an outstanding shade structure, we were able to replace a very aged slide structure with a new "Signal Springs" slide structure.
As a bonus, our partnership with Dr. Coughlin and her team continues, and we are back in touch with our friends at Trivers Associates. We have every intention of moving forward with a renovation of our residential facility and its grounds — the project that first led us to the AAD’s Adopt-a-Shade program!
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.Get involved