Malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is diagnosed in approximately 160,000 Americans each year, and overexposure to UV radiation, commonly known as sunburn, in children is one of the biggest risk factors contributing to Malignant melanoma. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends limiting UV exposure as one of the most effective means of preventing Malignant melanoma. As an integral part of its SPOT Skin Cancer education and prevention program,  AAD offers a Shade Structure Grant Program for public schools and non-profit organizations.

The AAD Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants of up to $8,000 for the purchase and installation of permanent shade structures for areas where children play or learn outdoors such as playgrounds, pools and recreation spaces. Since 2000, the American Academy of Dermatology has awarded more than 307 Shade Structure Grants to organizations across the country. Together, these structures provide shade each day for more than 600,000 individuals across the country.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be a non-profit organization or public school which serves children between the ages of 4 and 18. Applicants must also be sponsored by an AAD member dermatologist and demonstrate that they have an active sun safety program that has been in place for at least one year. AAD will begin accepting applications for the 2015 grant cycle on October 1, 2014. For more information on how to apply, please visit www.aad.org.