The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center is adding sun safety to the United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun program.
FITS is a six-week summer program for youths in grades 2-12. The program is hands-on and features academic rotations based on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and literacy curriculum.
This year, the program is getting additional curriculum from Ridley-Tree, which is a partner with the United Way. Ridley-Tree’s sun safety curriculum, known as RAYS, will feature lessons on skin cancer awareness and how to enjoy the sun in a safe way. The organization has also donated sunscreen and canopies for each site.
In addition to the new curriculum, Ridley-Tree has donated to help expand FITS’ bike program, which operates as part of a partnership with Santa Barbara Bike Coalition (BiCi Centro). The program helps students learn how to safely ride and maintain their bikes.
“The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center has partnered with Fun in the Sun for 20 years to encourage healthy habits around sun safety,” Lisa Winebrenner, the center’s wellness and community outreach manager, said in a statement. “We are excited to now expand our partnership to include the biking program so that students will be encouraged to get outside and exercise. Establishing healthy habits when kids are young can help lower their risk of developing cancer later in life.”
Steve Ortiz, the president and CEO of United Way, said in a statement that the organization is grateful for Ridley-Tree Cancer Center’s partnership this year, especially with “so many students in need of extra support” after the pandemic.
“Now that restrictions have been lifted, it is very important to help students cultivate mental and physical wellness through time outdoors,” he said in a statement.