The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the primary source of Sun Safety Education is in schools and that the secondary source of education is through recreational and sporting activities. The CDC also acknowledges that educational programs and curricula in schools alone are inadequate to stop the rising rates of Skin Cancer in America. They recommend prevention and education efforts in schools are supported and reinforced by skin cancer prevention interventions in recreation, sports, and community settings.
That is why CCMAC is engaged in, and supports a systemic approach to Prevention and Education. The Be Sun Smart ® message is heard and reinforced in schools, at sporting, recreational and other events in the community. The primary target of CCMAC's prevention and awareness campaign is to educate children and young adults in the secondary school systems of Long Island and throughout New York. 80% of sun exposure occurs before the age of 18 and is a determining factor in ones risk for Melanoma later in life. This is one of the reasons that CCMAC has targeted the children to hear its message “Be Sun Smart®”. In addition many of the children become CCMAC's Ambassadors of Skin Cancer Prevention, bringing the message back to their families, telling them about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and how to protect one's self from the rays of the sun on a daily basis, throughout the year. CCMAC since it's inception has been very active delivering presentations in health education classes and providing in-services as well as print and video materials for health education and nursing professionals of school districts, so they too can spread CCMAC's message of “Be Sun Smart”.
School Based Initiatives
» Students Teaching Others Prevention (S.T.O.P.)
» Peer Education in Sun Safety Training
» EPA Sun Wise Program
» Commerce Plaza
Students Teaching Others Prevention (S.T.O.P.)
CCMAC's first and longest running initiative Students Teaching Others Prevention (S.T.O.P), has been educating middle and high school age students, their teachers, principals and superintendents for eleven years.
Mrs. Colette Coyne seen here with Mr. “G” a Garden City Middle School Health Education Teacher.
Sharon McLaughlin M.D., donates her time and expertise educating young children with Mrs. Coyne seen here with Mr. “G” a Garden City Middle School Health Education Teacher.
Mrs. Colette Coyne seen here (5 th from the right) with the Nurses from the Farmingdale School Districts Nurses association during an in-service education and awareness program.
Easter Suffolk Teen Leadership Conference
CCMAC believing that peer education is invaluable, responded to an invitation to provide workshops at the Eastern Suffolk Teen Leadership conference held at St. Josephs College, in Patchogue. Many of the young teens in attendance were surprised to learn how serious unprotected sun exposure is at an early age, and were committed to spreading CCMAC's message, “Be Sun Smart”. CCMAC is grateful for the opportunity to participate in these events, and is always impressed by the youth in our communities, and their willingness to help. We must make an impact on this age group if we hope to change teen behavior regarding unsafe sun exposure and in particular the use of tanning beds.
Long Island School's Health Fairs
he Center for Disease Control's (CDC) recent study regarding Melanoma skin cancer indicates that the most effective education regarding the damaging rays of the sun should be directed towards children and teens through their school setting. Youth, particularly in grades K – 12 have always been the focus of CCMAC's education and awareness efforts. CCMAC, agrees with the CDC, that we must start early, and in our school systems if we are going to change the attitudes, and behaviors that lead to increased sun exposure With that in mind, in addition to our Students Teaching Others Prevention (STOP) initiative, we have begun to participate in school health fairs such as those held in the Farmingville district, and the New Hyde Park Road School. (Pictured below).
Peer Education in Sun Safety Training
Middle school and Highs School students from Brigdehampton, Half Hollows, Kings Park, Northport, east Northport and Patchogue – Medford participated in the Sun Safety Training Program
Above: Dr. Jennifer DeFazio, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Dermatologist, provides important background knowledge to students
Above: Colette Coyne of the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign working with students as they prepare to voice their position during the Mock Suffolk County Legislature Debate on rescinding existing tanning parlor laws
Above: Students critiquing advertisements and creating skits, poems or songs with a “Sun Safe” message .
Above: Students describing their plans for lesson implementation.
Steve Meyers, Health Educator, Bridgehampton School writes: “I cannot thank you enough for everything. At our Field Day on June 4 th , the 8 th grade students presented to the K-2 classes and then to grades 3 to 6. The Peer Educators created packets that were age appropriate and distributed them to all the children. At the end of the activity, each 8 th grader stated a sun safety fact and when each elementary student heard all eleven facts they received the sunglasses, hats, sunscreen and UV wristbands you provided”.
A PEER EDUCATOR ASSISTS A 6 TH GRADER IN FASTENING A BRACELET WITH UV-SENSITIVE BEADS. EACH STUDENT IN THE CLASS RECEIVED A BRACELET AS A REMINDER OF THE SUN'S POTENCY
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THEIR ADVISOR, NANCY BUTLER, 8 TH GRADE STUDENTS FROM CANDLEWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL DEVELOPED A GAME SHOW TO TEACH 6 TH GRADERS IN THEIR SCHOOL ABOUT SUN SAFETY
EPA's Sun Wise Program
In 2003 CCMAC partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to disseminate the EPA's “Sunwise” Program to school districts on Long Island. The EPA's Sunwise program is a very comprehensive and informative curriculum that provides teachers with lesson plans designed to teach students in grades K-8, about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure.
The SunWise Program is an environmental and health 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-based components.
EPA Sunwise Program: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/
The EPA's Sunwise Teachers Training Program
Thanks to the efforts of Sr. Joanne Callaghan, Superintendent of Schools and Sr. Lorraine McDonald, Asst. Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, CCMAC addressed the Principals of the Catholic Elementary Schools on Long Island. After a presentation on the dangers of unprotected sun exposure which included viewing Telecare's informative video on Melanoma, those present agreed education and behavior change must begin early in life. With that in mind, the Principals attending signed up to receive the EPA's educational kit, “Sunwise” with lesson plans for students K-8 th grade. Hopefully when these children graduate Sun Safety with be the norm. CCMAC started this partnership with the environmental protection agency early last year and is committed to the distribution of this very comprehensive and informative curriculum.( Pictured bottom right, l -r, Sr. Joanne Callahan, Colette Coyne and Sr. Loraine McDonald)
The EPA's Sunwise Teachers Training Program
We were also pleased to be a part of the second Sunwise Teacher Training held in Suffolk County. Education must begin early in life therefore our efforts to promote the EPA Sunwise Program K – 8 will be ongoing. Our participation was made possible through a grant CCMAC received through Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher and the Suffolk County Department of Health.
Colette Coyne with the many materials distributed along with the EPA's SunWise Program. EPA SunWise Program Boxes is pictured below.