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Grant funding brings GPS students protection from sun’s harmful rays


GILBERT, S.C. — Gilbert Primary School recently cut the ribbon on an important addition to its playground.

The new shade structure may not appear as fun as a new slide or swingset, but it will offer students and teachers much-needed protection from the harmful effects of the sun.

GPS won an $8,000 Shade Structure Grant from the American Academy of Dermatology to build the structure on the school’s largest playground. GPS staff and PTO members worked together to obtain the grant, and students helped cut the ribbon on Friday, September 30, 2016.

As a condition of the grant application, GPS adopted a sun safety program to teach students about ways to be safe in the sun. They enjoyed the sun safety lessons held during PTO events, school events and library sessions.

The grant funded a majority of the cost associated with the shade structure, and the PTO established a campaign to raise the remaining funds.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants of up to $8,000 to public schools and nonprofit organizations for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools or recreation spaces.

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