The Victorian Government has announced three schools in the Ararat Rural City will share in over $1.3 million in funding from the latest round of the School Shade Grants program.
The program provides funding to purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen as well as grants to build new shade structures, repair existing structures, or create natural shade by planting trees.
Labor member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford said it was important the government gave Victorians "the protection they need" to protect themselves from the sun.
"Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in Australia. It's important we give Victorians the protection they need to stay sun smart," she said.
"Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer.
"Now even more children will be shielded from the sun's harmful rays."
Ms Pulford said the School Shade Grants program allowed children to be active outdoors while being protected from the sun.
"It's great for kids to spend time playing outdoors and keeping active," she said.
"These grants mean school children can still enjoy the outdoors while having the necessary shade to be protected from the sun."
According to the Cancer Council shade alone can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent when used in combination with other sun protection strategies such as sun screen, hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.
Schools play an important role teaching effective sun smart behaviours from an early because childhood is a critical period during which exposure to UV radiation is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life.
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Maroona Primary School will get $1,818 to replace the hexagonal shade sail over their sandpit, Moyston Primary School will get $24,386 for a new permanent shade sail and Pomonal Primary School will receive $9,501 to construct a new shade sail over the high-traffic sandpit area.
Through this initiative the Victorian Government is helping children to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while still embracing the outdoors and keeping fit, active and healthy.
The School Shade Grant program is complemented by the Community Shade Grants program, which provides shade for community organisations. The outcome of the current round of the Community Shade Grants will be announced soon.
It forms part of the Government's ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 which sets out a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.
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