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Posted April 17, 2012

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Sombra del Monte Elementary Covered by Grant for Playground Shade Structure

School received $8,000 grant from American Association of Dermatology for the project

A shade structure shields playground equipment at Sombra del Monte Elementary.

Sombra del Monte Elementary has found protection from the sun through a grant from the American Association of Dermatology. 

The AAD awarded the school $8,000 to build a shade structure over the equipment on its main playground. The cover was installed in October and is part of the school’s effort to remind students and families of the dangers of overexposure to the sun. 

Joy Matthews, school nurse at Sombra del Monte, said the school participates in the Project Choice program through Presbyterian Health Care, which helps educate students and their families about using sunscreen, as well as other safety measures. That was one of the factors that helped her write a successful grant application. The support of local dermatologist Dr. Michael Thompson also helped. 

Sombra del Monte was one of only 10 institutions to receive the grant, out of more than 1,000 applications from across the country. The process was open to organizations that serve children, including schools, churches and daycare facilities. Getting the shade structure is an important step toward protecting students, Matthews said. 

“We wanted to show kids that we believe in sun safety, that we want to protect them,” Matthews said. 

The school will hold a dedication event and picnic at 6 p.m., Friday, April 20, on the playground.

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