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September 17, 2015

Sunbeatable School PosterWith the summer coming to a close, the initial roll-out of the Sunbeatables™ program is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean sun protection stops! Ray and the Sunbeatables™: A Sun Safety Curriculum for Preschoolers debuted this summer for preschoolers with a superhero-themed program encouraging the use of sunscreen, sunglasses, protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats and shade when playing outside. (Full story here)

The MD Anderson YMCA in Houston is one site that has not only used the curriculum, but also added their own ideas for crafts and projects to enhance the experience for the children. The lessons have been informed by the culture of the classroom so that reminders and sun safety materials are anywhere you look.

Sunbeatables 1Before leading the “Sun Safe Parade” outside to play, the class sings along to the “Are You Sun Safe?” Song, complete with hand motions and reminders of how important it is to protect themselves from the dangers of the sun. The kids have made hats out of papier-mâché to wear outdoors, created posters featuring the superheroes with sun safety advice and proudly sport stamps of their favorite characters after lessons. The teachers also designed capes, inspired by the provided curriculum, to further protect the children from sun.

So what do the kids think about wearing their sun safe gear outside to play? “They actually get very, very excited,” says Blanca Aguirre, a teacher at the YMCA. “Especially with the capes, and the hats…we actually give more time now to decorate.”

Sunbeatables 2While the curriculum is tailored toward the children, the teacher plays a pivotal role in ensuring the material is presented effectively. Maria Reyna, preschool teacher at the MD Anderson YMCA, said that from the instructor’s side of the lessons, the Training Guide has been very helpful. “We know exactly what we should be doing, and how to show them, teach them,” she says.

The program is meant to educate kids in a way that is exciting and enjoyable. Clearly, this classroom has fully committed to the program, and the results speak for themselves. “They really enjoy the parade. They enjoyed making the hats. They enjoyed putting sunscreen on.” Maria says. With all the fun the children are having with the lessons and curriculum, this is just the beginning for the Sunbeatables™ program.

Click through all of the photos from our trip in our Flickr Album, below!

MD Anderson YMCA in Houston uses Sunbeatables™