DEPARTMENTS TAX OFFICE
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Hopper Primary Educates Children on Sun Safety
By: Susan Passmore
Learning about sun safety is fun for students at B.P. Hopper Primary School, and it’s all thanks to a program through Be Well™ Baytown, an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sponsored by ExxonMobil. Hopper staff kicked off the summer with a special program to teach sun safety to kindergartners.
Called “Ray and the Sunbeatables®,” the program is an exciting learning experience for everyone. It features superhero characters and fun classroom activities where the kids are really engaged—songs, puppet shows and hands-on demonstrations.
"They are really applying what they are learning. One parent the other day said, ‘My daughter, my kindergarten student, came home teaching my older daughter about sun safety,’ so they are really learning," says Maria Rosas, Hopper principal.
Learning about sun-safe clothing, students made wide-brimmed sunhats from newspaper and duct tape as well as superhero capes. Teachers teamed up to put on a sun-safety skit. The activity ended with students participating in a style show and singing a song about sun safety.
"As a melanoma survivor, had I known some of these things, I may have been able to prevent skin cancer myself. I was actually a lifeguard and had no concept of sun protection in my era, but I think these kids are learning early and taking precautionary measures," said Randal O'Brien, Goose Creek CISD superintendent. "The curriculum is valuable and a good example of how our teachers engage with our students with everything they need to know instructionally, but also with their lives, going away from the school building as well.”
"We are excited to be part of these changes because we know that they can have such a positive impact over the long-term especially as one more sunburn in childhood doubles a person’s lifetime risk of melanoma,” says Ruth Rechis, the Director of Be Well Communities™ at MD Anderson.
Hopper Elementary and Goose Creek CISD will be implementing evidence-based programs over the summer and the next few school years including teaching “Ray and the Sunbeatables®” and other sun safety curricula informing the school community about the risk of sun exposure and reducing exposure to the sun. In addition, Hopper Primary will be receiving two sunshades for the playground area to keep children sun safe while playing outdoors.
A presentation of “Ray and the Sunbeatables®” was recently featured on Fox 26 by medical reporter Melissa Wilson. To see that story, visit: http://www.fox26houston.com/health/kindergartners-fight-skin-cancer-the-fun-way
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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