Press release from CANI:
CANI Head Start receives grant for shade structure
CANI Head Start has been awarded an $8,000-grant from the American Academy of Dermatology for the construction of four shade structures and sun safety curriculum.
In the spring of 2009, CANI applied for a grant to fund the materials and construction for four shade structures on playgrounds at Head Start sites at Hanna Creighton, Salvation Army, Grace St. John’s and Achduth Vesholom Temple, in Fort Wayne.
In August 2009, the agency was notified of the award and was ready to make the vision a reality. The agency partnered with students from Anthis Career Center to design and construct the structures. The students designed the structures based on specifications from Head Start staff. The final products are a combination of Plexiglas and wood which are designed to last for years.
These structures are an important addition to the playgrounds for several reasons. Most importantly, they are designed to reduce sun exposure for 450 children. Moreover, NAEYC (National Association for the Education of the Young Child) accreditation calls for an ample amount of shade on playgrounds. This means that the remaining sites are one step closer to obtaining accreditation.
In addition to the benefits provided by the structures, students will also be exposed to sun safety curriculum, which includes topics like the importance of sunscreen and how to reduce exposure. Parents will also be provided with educational materials.
Local dermatologist Dr. Thomas McGovern sponsored the grant and he will speak on the importance of sun safety at a dedication ceremony at 1:30 p.m. April 16 at Hanna Creighton, 2107 Hanna St.
CANI Head Start is a free, comprehensive development program. It meets educational, health, nutritional, and social service needs of low-income preschool children, ages 3 to 5, and their families in Allen, Noble, and Whitley counties.