Monday, January 28, 2008

EPA Offers SunWise Curriculum

The SunWise School Program is an environmental and health education program that aims to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based components, SunWise seeks to develop sustained sun-safe behaviors in schoolchildren.

SunWise Partner Schools receive materials that facilitate cross-curricular classroom learning. The program also encourages schools to provide a sun-safe infrastructure, including shade structures (e.g., canopies, trees) and policies (e.g., using hats, sunscreen, sunglasses) that promote sun protection in a school setting. Though based in schools, SunWise also supports community partnerships, such as inviting guest speakers to school assemblies, to enhance sun safety efforts.

Recognizing the many issues schools are asked to address daily, SunWise was developed with the needs of schools and educators in mind. The program was designed to provide maximum flexibility elements and can be used as stand-alone teaching tools or to complement existing school curricula. The time commitment necessary to implement SunWise is minimal, while the potential payoff in lower skin cancer rates - and other health benefits in the future - is high.

The SunWise School Program was pilot tested in 130 schools in 38 states during the 1999-2000 school year. National implementation began in the 2000-2001 school year. The components of the SunWise Program are available to Partner Schools free of charge.

from the Environmental Protection Agency
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