MD Anderson YMCA Prioritizing Sun Safety through Ray and the Sunbeatables™: a Sun Safety Curriculum for Preschoolers
This summer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center initiated the roll-out of Ray and the Sunbeatables™: A Sun Safety Curriculum for Preschoolers. The curriculum was taught at 50 sites reaching 2,639 preschoolers in six states through a partnership between MD Anderson and the CATCH Global Foundation. The superhero-themed program focuses on encouraging the use of sunscreen, sunglasses, protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats and shade when playing outside. The MD Anderson YMCA in Houston not only implemented the curriculum with their preschoolers, but also incorporated their own ideas for crafts and projects that reinforced the learning experience. The children were encouraged to showcase their creativity while learning about the importance of sun safety. The Sunbeatables™ curriculum inspired them to create posters and papier-mâché hats to protect them from the sun while outdoors.
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 MD Anderson YMCA. “Especially with the capes, and the hats…we actually give more time now to decorate.”
Based on years of MD Anderson research, the Sunbeatables™ program was developed through MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, which is designed to harness scientific knowledge to dramatically reduce cancer deaths through prevention, early detection and treatment. It’s a project of the Melanoma Moon Shot, which focuses on preventing and developing better treatment for the most lethal skin cancer.
Enrollment for fall and spring training is now underway. If you would like more information on implementing this program in your YMCA, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the curriculum, click here.