Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston sponsors Shade Structure for Oakland Elementary

The Oakland Elementary School in West Ashley will soon have a built-in sun protection for students and teachers, thanks to a new permanent shade structure. The structure, funded by a Shade Structure Grant from the American Academy of Dermatology, will offer protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can increase skin cancer risk. 

Initiated by Heather Holmes, a teacher at Oakland Elementary, Todd Schlesinger, MD founder of Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston, and a member of the AAD, sponsored the school’s grant application. The school received one of only 29 grants available from 170 applications.

“I’m thrilled that Dermatology & Laser Center was able to support the installation of Oakland Elementary School’s shade structure, which will help protect their students, teachers and visitors as they enjoy the outdoors,” said Todd Schlesinger MD. “Unprotected sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, and seeking shade is an easy way to protect yourself. You can also reduce your skin cancer risk by wearing protective clothing and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.”

Since its launch in 2000, the AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program has awarded funding for 368 shade structures across the country, providing shade for more than 880,000 individuals each day. For more information on skin cancer prevention, visit the AAD website


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