United States
         Environmental Protection
Air and Radiation
EPA 430-K-00-005
May 2000
wEPA  The SunWise School
         Program Guide
                    ) Printed on paper that contains at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.

The SunWise School Program  	4-11
       How Do We Become a SunWise Partner School?	   6
       What Tools Are Available to SunWise Partner Schools?	7
       How Will SunWise Be Evaluated?	9
       Why Should Schools Participate in SunWise?	10
Be SunWise: Action Steps for Sun Protection
Additional Sun-Protection Resources   . .  .  .
SunWise Registration Form	
      .  Center

"l kave a V///Q* of the  farfk /^ade 

         Children spend lots of time outdoors during recess, physical edu-
         cation classes, after-school activities, and sports programs. While
         some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable and healthy, too
much can be dangerous. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can
cause serious health effects, including skin cancer and other skin disor-
ders, eye damage and cataracts, and immune system suppression.
Currently, one in five Americans develops skin cancer during their life-
time. Every hour one person dies from this disease. The incidence of
melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is increasing faster than
almost every form of cancer.1

You can make a difference! Children are of particular concern since most
of the average person's lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18.
By educating ourselves and our children about UV-related health effects
and the steps for sun protection, we can ensure a healthy future for the
next generation.

Without the sun's light and heat, our planet could not support
human, animal, or plant life. While necessary for
our existence, however, the sun also
can threaten our health
with its UV radiation. UV
radiation comes in sever-
al forms (i.e., UV-A, UV-
B, and UV-C) that affect
human health in different
ways. In particular, we
must protect ourselves from
UV-A and UV-B, which pene-
trate the Earth's stratospheric
ozone layer.

Due to the depletion of the
ozone layer, increased levels of
harmful UV radiation are likely to
1 American Cancer Society, "Cancer Facts 6s Figures 1999."

                     The SunWise School Program Guide
reach the Earth. These heightened levels may cause the incidence and
severity of UV-related health effects to rise, particularly given current sun-
protection practices in the United States. Since the condition of the ozone
layer is not expected to improve significantly until the middle of the 21st
century, we need to change our sun behaviors now in order to protect our
future health.

Many believe that only lighter-skinned people need to be concerned about
the effects of overexposure to the sun. Though it is true that darker skin
has more natural pigment, which acts as a protectant, the skin is still sus-
ceptible to many of the damaging effects of UV radiation. The incidence of
skin cancer is lower in dark-skinned people, but it still occurs and is often
not detected until later stages when it is more  dangerous. The risk of other
UV-related health effects, such as cataracts, premature aging of the skin,
and immune suppression, is not dependent upon skin type.

The good news is that UV-related health effects are largely preventable
by instituting sun-protection practices early and consistently. Schools and
teachers can play a major role in protecting children by teaching sun
safety behaviors.

To help educators raise sun safety awareness, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has developed the SunWise School Program, a
national education program for children in grades K through 8. SunWise
Partner Schools sponsor classroom and schoolwide activities that raise
children's awareness of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and
simple sun safety practices. SunWise is a collaborative effort of schools,
communities, teachers, parents, health professionals, environmental
 'Sy^^r        fkiw  cancer
                       are  lately  preventable.

                             The SunWise School Program Guide
groups, meteorologists, educational organizations, and others. With
everyone's help, sun protection can grow beyond classrooms to the
entire community.

The SunWise School Program Guide is designed to provide school adminis-
trators, teachers, nurses, and other childhood caregivers with a general
overview of SunWise and the components of the program. Additional
brochures and fact sheets are available by calling EPAs Stratospheric
Ozone Information Hotline at 800 296-1996 or by visiting the SunWise
Web site at .

SunWise is intended to actively engage children in the learning process. Its
dual focus on health and the environment will help children develop the
skills necessary for sustained SunWise behavior and an appreciation for
the environment around them.

        The SunWise School Program is an               VN *V /'
        environmental and health education         V~.          •f\
                                                    '           Co
        program that aims to teach children and
their caregivers how to protect themselves from       o             n
overexposure to the sun. Through the use of class-      0           *
room-based, school-based, and community-based         '  P V °
components, SunWise seeks to develop sustained
sun-safe behaviors in schoolchildren.

The program's learning components build on a solid combination of
traditional and innovative education practices already in use in many U.S.
elementary and middle schools. Through the program, students and
teachers will increase their awareness of simple steps they can take to pro-
tect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Students will demonstrate
the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.
Children also will acquire scientific knowledge and develop an under-
                         standing of the environmental concepts related
                         to sun protection.

                         The program encourages schools to provide a
                         sun-safe infrastructure, including shade struc-
                         tures (e.g., canopies, trees) and policies (e.g.,
                         using hats, sunscreen, sunglasses) that promote
                         sun protection in a school setting. Though
                         based in schools, SunWise also supports com-
                         munity partnerships, such as inviting guest
                         speakers to school assemblies, to enhance sun
                         safety efforts.

Recognizing the many issues schools are asked to address daily, SunWise
has been developed with the needs of schools and educators in mind. The
program is designed to provide maximum flexibility—elements can be
used as stand-alone teaching tools or to complement existing school cur-
ricula. The time commitment necessary to implement SunWise is mini-
mal, while the potential payoff in lower skin cancer rates—and other
health benefits in the future—is high.

                                The SunWise School Program Guide
The SunWise School Program has been targeted for national implementa-
tion in the 2000-2001 school year. The components of the SunWise
Program outlined below are available to Partner Schools free of charge.
  y  SunWise Student Survey
  y  Cross-Curricular
     Classroom Lessons
  y  Internet Learning,
     Including UV
     Measurement and
  y  Evaluation of SunWise
     School  Program
   Suggestions for
   (e.g., sun-safe policies
   and structures)
y  Ideas for School-Based
   Sun Safety Activities (e.;
   school assemblies)
y  Evaluation of SunWise
   School Program
y  Suggestions for
   Community Partnerships
   (e.g., guest speakers and
   business partnerships)

                     The SunWise School Program Guide
                      0o  tye
              Becoming a SunWise Partner School is easy! Any elemen-
tary or middle school in the United States may participate in the SunWise
School Program. A single classroom, multiple classrooms, a school, or
an entire school district may join. To become a SunWise Partner School,
you must:

1. Register as a SunWise Partner School. Educators are asked to
   complete the registration form located on the SunWise Web  site at
                             The SunWise School Program Guide
                        Mat  Tool; Are Available  to
                        Based on the activities you choose, you will receive,
                        free of charge, materials and tools to help you
                        implement SunWise in your classroom or school.

                        A Tool Kit containing cross-curricular classroom
                        lessons and background information for K through
                        8th grade learning levels is available to all SunWise
                        Partner Schools. The Tool Kit consists of a variety
                        of fun, developmentally appropriate activities that
                        combine education about sun protection and the
                        environment with other aspects of learning.
                        Information for schools interested in promoting
                        sun protection through infrastructure enhance-
ments also is available in the Tool Kit. These materials feature suggestions on
reaching out to schools and families with sun safety policies, forming commu-
nity partnerships, making structural changes, and organizing sun safety
events. The Tool Kit also includes an extensive list of other sun-protection

                      The SunWise School Program Guide
           UV 0ataba;e
In order to make the best use of innovative educational and information-
sharing technologies, EPA developed an Internet Learning Site as part of
its main SunWise Program Web site. An easy-to-use, interactive medium
for children, the Internet Learning Site features drop-down lists, check
boxes, radio buttons, and eye-catching icons. Students and teachers can
use the site to:

   ^ Report and interpret daily measurements of UV radiation.

   ^ Participate in online, interactive educational activities.

   ^ Locate additional resources on sun protection, health, and the

Through the Internet Learning Site, students can enter daily UV data,
weather conditions, and information regarding daily sun-protection  prac-
tices. The students' UV measurements will consist of:

   ^ Community-specific UV Index data derived from the National
       Weather Service Web site.

   ^ Actual data obtained from hand-held UV monitoring devices (lent
       to schools by the SunWise Program).
Once schools register, teachers will receive secure IDs for entering daily
UV data on the Internet Learning Site.

                             The SunWise School Program Guide
       Ml  Wi/i;e  Be  EvaUated?

The SunWise School Program recognizes a particular
challenge in measuring the effectiveness of its effort to
create sustained SunWise behavior, especially given
the latency period associated with the onset of
UV-related health effects. Therefore, the careful
and consistent evaluation of program effec-
tiveness through a variety of interim mea-
surements—including input from educators
and students—is integral to SunWise's
success. In addition to the SunWise Student Survey, EPA plans to
utilize other voluntary evaluation tools, including:

y  SunWise Parent Survey: Research indicates that child behaviors
    are based, in large part, on modeling adult behaviors. If possible,
    randomly selected schools will ask parents to complete a simple,
    10-minute take-home survey to identify their current sun safety
    practices and observed behavior of their children. (Note: Surveying is
    conducted for the sole purpose of evaluating the SunWise Program to
    help improve its messages and approaches. All personal information
    will remain anonymous and confidential.)

y  Teacher Evaluation of Classroom Activities: Teachers will be asked to
    evaluate student receptivity to sun safety lessons and Internet learning.
    Teacher feedback about the usefulness of classroom and school mate-
    rials will be vital to the refinement of sun safety education materials.

y  Teacher and School Administrator Evaluation of Infrastructure
    Improvements: Teachers and school administrators will be asked to
    evaluate the practicality and success of proposed  sun-protection  policy
    changes, infrastructure enhancements, and the SunWise Program as
    a whole.

              10  7*2   The SunWise School Program Guide
My flutfU  IcKoolf Participate  i*

Being a part of SunWise is a fun, easy, and effective way to protect the
health of the children in your school. SunWise is a national education pro-
gram designed to teach children not only about the health effects of over-
exposure to UV radiation and how to avoid them, but also about the envi-
ronmental effects of ozone depletion. The program focuses on the whole
spectrum of health effects, including skin cancer, eye damage, and other
illnesses, and is appropriate for diverse school populations nationwide.
Though based in schools, SunWise also encourages a sustained connection
between schools and their communities. By participating in SunWise, chil-
dren will enhance their creativity, critical thinking, data collection, reading,
problem solving, decision-making, and communication skills.

EPA is currently exploring options for recognition incentives (e.g., stickers,
bookmarks, water bottles, and more).  Teachers also will receive a certifi-
cate acknowledging their accomplishment. Finally, the possibility of a
SunWise Helios Award for Sun-Protection Education is currently being
explored. This award would recognize innovative and exemplary efforts in
the area of sun-protection education. Stay tuned for more information
about this exciting possibility!

                               he SunWise School Program has
                               developed a set of action steps for sun
                               protection that can be used in the
                       classroom, on the playground, or elsewhere to
                       help reduce students' and adults' risk from UV
                       radiation. With these steps, preventing overex-
                       posure to the sun is simple. You and your stu-
dents should always take the following precautions:

y  Limit time in the midday sun. The sun's UV rays are the strongest
    between 10 a.m.  and 4 p.m. To the extent possible, limit exposure
    to the sun during these hours.

y  Watch for the UV Index. This important resource helps you plan
    your outdoor activities in ways that prevent  overexposure to the
    sun's rays. Developed by the National Weather Service and EPA, the
    UV Index is issued  daily in selected cities across the country. The
    UV Index uses numbers to represent the likely level of UV exposure
    (Minimal: 0-2; Low: 3-4; Moderate: 5-6; High: 7-9; Very High:
    10+). While you  should always take precautions against overexpo-
    sure, take special care to adopt sun safety practices when the UV
    Index predicts exposure levels of moderate or above.

y  Use shade wisely. Seek shade when UV rays are the most intense,
    but keep in mind that  shade structures (e.g., trees,  umbrellas,
    canopies) do not offer  complete sun protection. Students can easily
    remember the shadow rule: "Watch Your Shadow—No Shadow,
    Seek Shade!"2

y  Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide  brim offers good sun
    protection for your eyes, ears, face, and the back of your neck.

2 Downham, T.F., "The shadow rule: A simple method for sun protection." In Journal of the Southern Medical
 Association, July 1998, 91:7, 619-623.


                     The SunWise School Program Guide
    Sunglasses that provide 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B
    protection will greatly reduce eye damage from sun exposure. Wrap-
    around sunglasses provide the most protection. Tightly woven, loose
    fitting clothes will provide additional protection from the sun.

y  Use sunscreen. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15+ liber-
    ally and reapply every 2 hours, or after working, swimming, play-
    ing, or exercising outdoors.

y  Avoid sunlamps and tanning booths. The light source from sunbeds
    and sun lamps damages the skin and unprotected eyes and is best
    avoided entirely.

Remember, everyday exposure counts! You don't have to be actively
sunbathing to get a damaging dose of the sun—take care even when
having lunch outside,  going on school field trips, taking part in
after-school activities,  or participating in sports  programs. Inform your
friends and family about these simple sun safety steps. You could
save a life!

        he SunWise School Program would like to thank the many
        teachers, parents, communities, health professionals, educators,
        meteorologists, nonprofit organizations, environmental groups,
scientists,  and others who have helped make the SunWise vision a reality.
Your commitment, energy, and dedication are truly remarkable, and the
SunWise School Program  sincerely appreciates your valuable efforts.

The SunWise School Program is one of several EPA EMPACT projects.
SunWise would like to thank the EMPACT Program for its support and
assistance. For information about  the EMPACT Program, please call 202
564-6791 or visit the Web site at .

For  More   If/or/^atio*
For more  information about EPAs SunWise School Program or sun pro-
tection, please contact any member of the SunWise staff (listed below)
or visit the SunWise Web site  at .
Maura Cantor, Director
Phone: 202 564-9096
E-mail: cantor.maura@epa.gov

Linda Rutsch, Schools Coordinator
Phone: 202 564-2261
E-mail: rutsch.linda@epa.gov

Kelly Davis, Web Manager
Phone: 202 564-2303
E-mail: davis.kelly@epa.gov

Mailing address for all staff:
U.S. EPA/SunWise School Program
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. (6205J)
Washington,  DC 20460
Kevin Rosseel, Communications Manager
Phone: 202 564-9731
E-mail: rosseel.kevin@epa.gov

Kristin Kenausis, Education Coordinator
Phone: 202 564-2289
E-mail: kenausis.kristin@epa.gov
For courier or overnight deliveries,
please send to:
U.S. EPA/Sun Wise School Program
501 3ri Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

         lease contact the following organizations for additional information
         on sun protection:
American Academy of Dermatology
930 North Meacham Road
P.O. Box 4014
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4965
888 462-DERM (462-3376)

American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road, NE.
Atlanta, GA 30329-4251
800 ACS-2345  (227-2345)

Boston University Medical Center
Skin Oncology,  Cancer Prevention & Control
720 Harrison Avenue, DOB-801A
Boston, MA 02118

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
4770 Buford Highway
Chamblee, GA 30341
770 488-4751
www. cdc. gov/cancer
National Association of Physicians
for the Environment
6410 Rockledge Drive, Suite 412
Bethesda, MD 20817-1809
301 571-9790

National Safety Council
Environmental Health Center
1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
800 557-2366 #2

The Skin Cancer Foundation
245 Fifth Avenue
Suite 1403
New York, NY 10016
212 725-5176
wwwskincancer. org


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                   The completed registration form
                       can be mailed or faxed to:

                              Linda Rutsch
                       SunWise School Program
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
              1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. (6205J)
                        Washington, DC 20460

                     Fax Number: 202 565-2065
                                 Fold Here

                          Mailing Instructions
   Carefully remove the entire form from the booklet and fold it as indicated above, with the address
   visible. To ensure the form remains folded during shipment, secure it with a piece of tape.
   No postage is necessary
               SunWise School Program Identification
Please assign an identification name for each class that will be participating. If you plan to register
more than one class, please submit a separate registration form for each participating class. You are free
to pick any name, using numeric and/or alpha characters, but it should not exceed 6 characters. Upon
receipt of this form, SunWise will provide you with a confirmation of your registration, as well as a
computer-generated Class ID, which you will need for data entry purposes on the SunWise Internet
Learning Site.
Registering for the SunWise School Program is easy! Simply review the program
requirements and the activities described on this form, then choose the activities in
which you would like to participate. We'll send you everything you need. Please fill
out this form completely and use the self-addressed cover to mail it back to EPA.
You also can register through the SunWise Web site at .
Thanks for your participation!
                                                                                                            Participant Requirements
                                                                                         1. Complete and return this self-addressed form.
                                                                                         2. Adopt at least one of the SunWise activities described on this form.

                         For 2000-2001 school year:
         Registration opens March 1, 2000 and closes February 28, 2001.
                         For 2001-2002 school year:
         Registration opens March 1, 2001 and closes February 28, 2002.
           If you have any questions about this form or about SunWise,
                   please call Linda Rutsch at 202 564-2261.
Identification Name

Grade Level of Class_
                                     _Number of Students in Class _

                                 About Your School
                                                                        SunWise Activities
School Name:

Street Address:

_ZIP Code: _
Web site address: _

Principal's Name:_
School District Name:_
Does Your School Have Videoconferencing Capability?    I—I  Yes  I—I No

School Type:   Q Elementary      Q Middle                Q Grades 1-8      Q  Other
(check all that apply)              Q Year-Round School     Q Public School    Q  Private School

Number of Students in School (Estimate):	
                                    About Yourself
For what school year are you registering?        Q 2000-2001    Q  2001-2002

Average Class Size:          Q 1-15           Q 16-25         Q  26-30         Q 31+

Grades You Teach:         Q K   Q  1   Q 2   Q 3    Q 4   Q 5   Q  6    Q 7    Q

Subjects You Teach:    Q Science         Q Math               Q  Health       Q English
                     Q Social Studies   Q Physical Education   Q  Geography   Q Other

Have you taught or worked in the following areas (check all that apply)?

         I	I  Sun Protection        I	I Environmental Issues        I	I World Wide Web
                                      Please indicate below which SunWise activities you would like to implement in your classroom or
                                      school. For more information on each activity, see the descriptions below. Please choose at least one
                                      activity but feel free to implement as many as you like. Remember, all materials and tools will be
                                      provided to you free of charge.
                                      Cross-Curricular Classroom Lessons
                                      Reporting of the UV Index on the Internet Learning Site
                                      Reporting of UV Ground Data (via Hand-Held Monitor)
                                      on the Internet Learning Site
                                      Infrastructure Enhancements: Policy Changes
                                      Infrastructure Enhancements: Shade Structures
                                      Community Partnerships
                                      Schoolwide Sun Safety Activities
                                      Cross-Curricular Classroom Lessons
                                      A SunWise Tool Kit includes cross-curricular
                                      lessons that focus on UV radiation effects, risk
                                      factors for overexposure, and sun-protection
                                      habits. Activities are included for K-3rd, 4th-6th,
                                      and 7th-8th grade learning levels.

                                      Reporting the UV Index or UV Ground Data
                                      on the Internet Learning Site
                                      This interactive, easy-to-use EPA Web site is
                                      fun and colorful. Teachers and students can use
                                      the site to report and interpret daily UV data
                                      and weather conditions. EPA also lends hand-
                                      held UV monitoring devices to schools for
                                      data collection.

                                      Infrastructure Enhancements—Policy Changes
                                      Simple improvements such as rescheduling
                                      recesses during a time of day with lower UV
                                      radiation levels, or requiring students to wear
                                      hats, sunscreen, or eye protection, are described
                                      in the SunWise Tool Kit.
Infrastructure Fnhanr^ni^n1's—Shade Structures
Ideas for infrastructure improvements, such as the
addition of trees, canopies, or other shade struc-
tures, are included in the Tool Kit, and EPA is
available to advise participants.

Community Partnerships
Schools can work with local organizations,
such as nurseries or television stations, to show
students how sun safety practices extend beyond
the classroom.

Schoolwide Sun Safety Activities
Classes can use SunWise Program knowledge to
share sun safety messages with the whole school.
Suggestions for schoolwide events are included
in the Tool Kit.