FSDDS Creates New Sun Defense Essay Contest Throughout Florida Elementary Schools

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 General News J E 4
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 12 In order to promote andincrease sun safety and awareness, the Florida Society of Dermatology andDermatologic Surgery (FSDDS) is holding an essay contest at the elementaryschool level across Florida. The FSDDS Florida Sun Defense Essay Contest isdesigned to help educate elementary school age children and parents about theimportance of sun safety. It is being co-sponsored by the Florida Associationfor Media in Education (FAME) as a part of its on-going information literacyefforts.

"The purpose of this statewide educational campaign is to heighten theawareness in elementary school aged children about the potential dangers ofsun exposure. These children must start now to realize that while it is greatthat we live in the Sunshine State, increased chances of exposure to the sunrequire extra precautions," said Tamarac dermatologist Dr. Glenn Zellman,current president of the Florida Society of Dermatology and DermatologicSurgery (FSDDS).

Cocoa Beach dermatologist Dr. Kristin Smallwood, chair of the FSDDS PublicRelations Committee and the Director of the Sun Defense Essay Contest for theFSDDS, goes further on the importance of early intervention in fighting thepotential for skin cancer. "It is especially important for young children tobecome accustomed to protecting themselves from exposure to the sun. Whilemany people do not realize it, the sun exposure you get when you are youngercan manifest itself many years later as skin cancer. It is important that weeducate young children at an early age about this fact," Smallwood said.

The FSDDS is working on this initiative in conjunction with the FloridaAssociation for Media in Education (FAME), who has endorsed the FSDDS contestas a part of their statewide information literacy campaign. Miriam Needham,the current president of FAME and an Ocala-based media specialist, felt thatthis program was a natural fit for FAME. "This sun defense essay program isobviously an important part of the statewide fight to reduce skin cancer, butit is also another great way for us as media specialists to specificallysupport information literacy at the elementary school level. In composingtheir essay on this important subject, students will get an opportunity toresearch sun exposure, skin cancer and their impacts in Florida. We wouldthink that the best essays will have the best use of facts about thesesubjects and we always welcome the opportunity to help students to learn howto conduct this type of research at an early age. Information is power and,in this case, can also be lifesaving as students learn about the dangers ofsun exposure," stated Needham.

For more information on the essay contest, click here. To download thecontest entry form, click here. A printable promotional poster is alsoavailable by clicking here.

The FSDDS ( is the professional association fordermatologists in Florida. FAME ( is the professionalorganization for media specialists in all public and private schools inFlorida.



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