Student Wins Sunny Prize for Danville School

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DANVILLE -- With the weather as hot and sunny as it's been, caring for your skin is important.

Morgan Everett of Danville didn't know much about sun protection until recently. The eighth grader at St. Joseph School in Danville wrote an essay about how to prevent skin cancer, entered an essay contest run by the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology, and won.

Morgan received her award in front of her classmates.

"I was in shock!" she said. "I was like, wow, I didn't even expect this!"

Morgan's eighth grade science class at St. Joseph School recently learned about skin care.

"We talked about the skin's structure and Dr. Petrick, being a school parent was gracious enough to come in and talk to the kids about skin damage," said science teacher Donna Brown.

Dr. Mary Petrick has three children at St. Joseph School.  She is a dermatologist and encouraged the eighth grade students to enter the essay contest.

"These kids have so much more awareness, and they know what they need to do. They know they need to wear their sunscreen. They know they need to reapply," said Dr. Petrick.

Morgan's winning essay focused on the importance of wearing sunglasses as well as other precautions people should take when out in the sun.  She did a lot of research on the topic.

"I'm not big in science, but I liked it a lot, so I think that's why I won, because I enjoyed it!" said Morgan.

For winning the contest, St. Joseph School got a $5,000 grant to promote sun safety within the school. Directors decided to use the money on the school's playground.

"Some shade for students to take maybe a little break from the sun, maybe we could have lunches out there or do some studying," said Brown.

"It's important that they be able to get out of the sun and particularly during school hours, which are the peak sun hours," added Dr. Petrick.

Administrators at St. Joseph School in Danville don't know when they will get the money but are looking forward to making their playground sun-safe.