Introducing Sun Smart Kids

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By Danielle Paterson, Executive Director, David Cornfield Melanoma Fund

Throughout May and June, pre-school children are visiting their new schools for the first time in preparation for Kindergarten in September 2015. For 8,000 Toronto families, these visits include the chance to learn about sun protection through the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund’s (DCMF) latest initiative, Sun Smart Kids.

Since sun exposure and sunburn in childhood increases the risk of developing melanoma later in life, DCMF wants to empower families to protect themselves in the sun. IMG_3269-3Sun Smart Kids is DCMF’s sun protection awareness program for children and families. Sun Smart Kids is comprised of sun hats and magnets for children, and for parents, information about melanoma, the importance of sun protection and what steps families can take to remain protected in the sun.

We are delighted to partner with The Learning Partnership’s Welcome to Kindergarten Program to deliver Sun Smart Kids in the Toronto District School Board. The Welcome to Kindergarten program is a unique engagement strategy that brings parents, children, schools and community service agencies together to prepare children for a fun and successful first year in school.

IMG_3340Welcome to Kindergarten events are happy and momentous occasions where families are greeted by the Principal and staff and enjoy a series of hands-on activities in the classroom. At the end of the event, the children receive their own Welcome to Kindergarten bag. This bag includes our Sun Smart Kids hats, magnets and information sheets, and Welcome to Kindergarten books and learning tools to help children prepare for school over the summer months.

We have had the opportunity to see Sun Smart Kids in action. Principals and Learning Partnership staff have enthusiastically celebrated the DCMF/Learning Partnership collaboration, underlined the importance of sun protection directly to the children and parents, prominently displayed Sun Smart Kids materials and encouraged the children to become Sun Smart Kids. We’ll never forget the joy on the children’s faces when they reached into their ‘special bag’ to grab their Sun Smart Kids hat.

Thank you to our fantastic partners, The Learning Partnership and the Toronto District School Board, and to our generous suppliers KapGun Art, Karbon and Parade Creative.

We are looking forward to seeing our Sun Smart Kids across Toronto!

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