On December 4, 2015 the American Cancer Society’s Relay Recess kicked off at the Island Montessori School.
Relay Recess brings the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay For Life to elementary schools, nationwide. The program brings cancer education and community service into the classroom, engaging youngsters in the fight against cancer. ACS makes the education fun, through entertainment and activities.
Volunteers from Marco Island Academy, high school students Duneshka Cruz, Cassidy Carlson, Cole Stretton, and Abi Neal, along with Principal Melissa Scott, helped Sue Olszak from ACS with the activities.
Kickoff began with music and Zumba, as children, teens and teachers danced together in a circle in the classroom. The kids were then taught sun basics- about staying hydrated and wearing sunglasses, hats and sunscreen to protect their skin. Volunteer Cole Stretton was a good sport, and allowed himself to be used as a model to demonstrate the correct way toapply sunscreen. In addition to sunscreen, the children were given information about sun safety, sunglasses, crayons and coloring pages.
Although the children are too young to understand the gravity of the sun safety message, it is important to instill healthy sun habits at a young age. Currently, among young people in the United States, there is, what some are describing as, a “melanoma epidemic.” Melanoma incidence has increased by 253% among U.S. children and young adults since the 1970s. See www.empr.com/medical-news/melanoma-rates-rising-us-youth.
The Recess Relay event for the children will take place in February. The Marco Island community-wide Relay for Life event will take place on April 9, 2016 at Mackle Park from 10 AM to 10 PM. For more information about the Marco Island Relay for Life, go to www.relay.acsevents.org and enter Marco’s zip code (34145), or contact the Marco Island American Cancer Society at 239-642-8800. For more information about Relay Recess, go to www.relayrecess.org.