Grant program to provide funding for permanent shade structures for public schools


CONTACT: Lakita Hawes, (334) 206-7066

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Although skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages awareness about the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and the importance of practicing sun safety. Anyone, no matter their skin tone, can develop skin cancer. Often children are vulnerable to exposure to UV rays on playgrounds or recreational areas during school.

The ADPH Comprehensive Cancer Control Program announces an opportunity for public schools to apply for funding for shade structures. The program provides funds to install permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds or recreational spaces. 

Each shade structure grant is valued at a maximum of $15,000 which includes the cost for a shade structure and installation. The number of awards depends on the availability of funding each year. The deadline to receive applications is August 4, 2023. 

These are sun safety tips to help protect your skin from the sun:

  • Use sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher make sure it has UVA and UVB protection.
  • Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outside and remember to reapply after swimming.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect your face, head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that are made to block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Limit exposure to the sun when UV rays are most intense, during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; seek shade when possible.

The public is encouraged to ensure others in the community are aware of this funding opportunity. For more information regarding sun safety and the Shade Structure Grant Program, please visit ADPH Cancer Control Program News or Skin Cancer.

For questions, contact Lakita Hawes at [email protected] or (334) 206-7066.



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.