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The SunWise Program is a health and environmental education program that aims to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Through the use of classroom, school, and community components, SunWise develops sustained sun-safe behaviors.
SunWise was launched in 2000 and is currently taught in over 29,000 schools in all 50 states, Washington DC, and the territories. The program has demonstrated effectiveness at raising awareness and changing behaviors related to sun safety. SunWise has also been shown to prevent skin cancer cases and save public health costs.
Why Be SunWise?
Green Scene: Be SunWise with sun safe tips.Watch a video of Luke Hall-Jordan of the SunWise Program discussing the importance of being SunWise while outdoors.
The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the upper atmosphere, protecting life on Earth from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. In the 1980s, scientists began accumulating evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted. Depletion of the ozone layer results in increased UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression.
SunWise is the most widely used health and environmental education program for sun safety designed for children ages 5-15. The program has won the following awards:
- American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award - 2010
- Bright Idea, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University - 2010
- American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award - 2008
- United Nations Environment Program Montreal Protocol Public Awareness Award - 2007
- American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award - 2006
- Winner of the OncoLink Editor’s Choice Award - 2004
- SHADE Foundation’s Ray of Hope Award - 2003
- Congressional Families Program Excellence in Cancer Awareness Award - 2003 (PDF) (8pp, 559K)
- American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award - 2003, (PDF) (8pp, 559k)
- Federal Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Annual Achievement Award - 2002 (PDF) (8pp, 559K)
- American Academy of Dermatology Award for Excellence in Education - 2002