Newswise — ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 17, 2019) — Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and it only takes one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence to nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, later in life. To help protect children and adolescents from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, the American Academy of Dermatology has awarded shade structure grants to 29 schools and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Since launching in 1999, the AAD’s Shade Structure Program has awarded 400 shade structure grants, which provide shade for more than 3 million individuals daily.

“Unprotected sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer, and shade is a simple way to reduce that risk,” says board-certified dermatologist George J. Hruza, MD, MPH, FAAD, president of the AAD. “The AAD is proud to help these organizations provide permanent shade structures that give children an area to play outdoors without exposing them to the sun’s harmful UV rays.”

In addition to seeking shade, the AAD recommends that everyone protect themselves from the sun by wearing protective clothing—including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses—and applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing.

In 2019, the AAD awarded shade structure grants to the following organizations:


  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama Inc. (Montevallo Unit), Montevallo,

    Sponsored by Robert Henderson Jr., MD, FAAD

  • Valley Jr. High School, Jasper,

    Sponsored by Katherine Flanagan, MD, FAAD


  • Hermosa Vista Elementary, Mesa, Ariz.

    Sponsored by Benjamin LeSueur, MD, FAAD

  • Sequoya Elementary School, Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Sponsored by Cynthia Price, MD, FAAD


  • Growing a Healthy Charleston, Charleston, Ark.

    Sponsored by Sandra Johnson, MD, FAAD


  • Lions of Lockhurst PTO, Woodland Hills,

    Sponsored by Hal Weitzbuch, MD, FAAD

  • Marquez Charter Elementary School, Pacific Palisades,

    Sponsored by Marcia Hogeling, MD, FAAD

  • RioVision, Rio Vista, Calif.

    Sponsored by Karl Beutner, MD, PhD, FAAD


  • City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department, Grand Junction,

    Sponsored by Travis Morrell, MD, FAAD

  • Collegiate Academy of Colorado, Littleton,

    Sponsored by Michelle Chevalier, MD

  • Environmental Learning for Kids, Denver,

    Sponsored by Leslie Stewart, MD, FAAD

  • Monarch Montessori of Denver Charter, Denver,

    Sponsored by Brian Rothschild, MD, FAAD


  • Trumbull Nature and Art Center, Trumbull, Conn.

    Sponsored by Keith Choate, MD, PhD, FAAD


  • Sand Lake Elementary School, Orlando,

    Sponsored by Sima Jain, MD, FAAD

  • The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project, Melbourne,

    Sponsored by Anthony Porter, MD, FAAD

  • Wilkinson Junior High School, Middleburg,

    Sponsored by Robert Brown, MD


  • Lilburn Elementary School, Lilburn, Ga.

    Sponsored by Robert McClure, MD, FAAD


  • Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, Laupahoehoe, Hawaii

    Sponsored by Robert Shapiro, MD, FAAD


  • Legion Park Elementary School, Houma,

    Sponsored by Sarah Haydel, MD, FAAD


  • South Shore YMCA, Norwell, Mass.

    Sponsored by Courtney Czikesa, MD, FAAD


  • Columbia Falls Junior High, Columbia Falls, Mont.

    Sponsored by Thomas George, MD, FAAD

  • Montana State Parks Foundation, Missoula, Mont.

    Sponsored by Suzanne Schoelch, MD, FAAD

North Carolina

  • Brooks Global Studies Elementary School, Greensboro, N.C.

    Sponsored by Karen Gould, MD, FAAD

  • Northern Elementary School, Greensboro, N.C.

    Sponsored by Susan Stinehelfer, MD, FAAD


  • Methodist Services, Philadelphia,

    Sponsored by Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD

South Carolina

  • Oakland Elementary School, Charleston, S.C.

    Sponsored by Todd Schlesinger, MD, FAAD


  • Amarillo Tri-State Exposition, Amarillo, Texas

    Sponsored by Larry Roberts, MD, FAAD

  • Round Rock Opportunity Center-DAEP, Round Rock, Texas

    Sponsored by Ronald Tee, MD, FAAD

West Virginia

  • Junior Elementary School, Belington, West Virginia

    Sponsored by C. Bradley Franz, MD, FAAD

The AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program is financially supported by the AAD and its members’ contributions. AAD member dermatologists also play an integral role in the program by encouraging local organizations to apply for the grants and by writing letters of support—a requirement for consideration of applications. The program is open to nonprofit organizations that serve children and teens under the age of 18 and have incorporated a sun safety program into their activities for at least one year. Grants are available for permanent shade structures over outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools and eating areas.

For organizations interested in offering a sun safety program, the AAD has developed a curriculum for 8- to 13-year-olds to promote healthy self-esteem through education about skin, hair and nails. The Good Skin Knowledge lesson plans and accompanying activities include sun safety education, which meets the Shade Structure Grant Program’s sun-safety requirement when in place for one year prior to application.

Recently, the AAD launched an Adopt-a-Shade program to help meet the increasing demand for sun protection for children. Under Adopt-a-Shade, individuals and community groups can help protect children from the damaging rays of the sun by choosing an organization and funding its shade structure.

The AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program is part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.



Nicole Dobkin, (847) 240-1746, [email protected]                     

More Information

Skin Cancer Fact Sheet

Sunscreen Resource Center

Good Skin Knowledge Lesson Plans and Activities

About the AAD

Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

About SPOT Skin Cancer™

For more information on skin cancer prevention and detection, visit the AAD website There, you can find instructions on how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin and find free SPOTme® skin cancer screenings in your area. SPOT Skin Cancer™ is the AAD’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.