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Del Rey Elementary School Receives American Academy of Dermatology Shade Structure Grant
Posted 4/30/19

The Orinda Union School District’s (OUSD) Del Rey Elementary School has been named the recipient of a 2018-19 Shade Structure Program Grant by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The grant provided $8,000 for the purchase and installation of a permanent shade structure over the outdoor learning space adjacent to the new 21st Century Gen7 modular classroom buildings at the school. Del Rey Elementary is one of only four organizations in California to receive a grant this year from the AAD’s Shade Structure Program. There were twenty-six recipients nationwide.

Board President Hillary Weiner noted, “On behalf of the Orinda USD Board of Trustees, I thank the AAD for this generous grant that has provided attractive and protective shade structures at Del Rey Elementary School. Having this shaded area available gives Del Rey teachers increased flexibility to use outdoor learning spaces as a natural extension of the curriculum while ensuring student safety from overexposure to the sun.”

Principal Kirsten Theurer expressed her appreciation to the Academy of Dermatology and to Dr. Maryam Asgari specifically for making the grant possible. “I love the brightly colored triangular shade sails suspended between the classroom buildings which gives us shade to protect the students from the sun’s harmful rays as well as brightens this learning area where we have the science room, makers’ space room, STEAM room, art classroom, and the fifth grade Gen7 classrooms,” commented Ms. Theurer.

Former Orinda dermatologist Maryam Mandana Asgari, MD, FAAD, a member of the Academy, sponsored the grant application. Dr. Asgari recently moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to practice Surgical Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Asgari will be flying in from Boston to attend the Dedication Ceremony’s ribbon-cutting.

Children and teens are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun because of their time spent outdoors. Seeking shade is an easy way to reduce the risk of skin cancer. In addition to seeking shade, the Academy recommends everyone protect his/her skin from the sun by covering up and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Del Rey Elementary, located at 25 El Camino Moraga in Orinda, will be holding a dedication ceremony at the school for the new shade structure on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Superintendent of Orinda Union School District, and Members of the OUSD Board of Trustees will be in attendance. The ceremony will coincide with the school’s Open House attended by parents, students, teachers, and staff.

While skin cancer is highly treatable when caught in its earliest stages, it can be deadly. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is now the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

Since the Academy founded the Shade Structure Grant Program in 2000, more than 385 shade structure grants have been awarded to organizations across the country. These structures provide shade for nearly a million individuals each day. In addition to Del Rey Elementary, California grant recipients were CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts in Van Nuys; Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica; and Cuyamaca College Child Development Center in El Cajon.

The Shade Structure Program is part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to reduce the incidence of skin cancer by educating the public about effective skin cancer prevention tips. To learn more about the Shade Structure Program or for ways to prevent and detect skin cancer, visit


About the Orinda Union School District
Orinda Union School District is one of the highest performing school districts in the State of California. Orinda USD serves approximately 2,500 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade at five school campuses— four elementary schools and one middle school. Three Orinda USD schools were recently recognized as California Distinguished Schools: Del Rey Elementary (2018), Wagner Ranch Elementary (2018), and Glorietta Elementary (2018). In 2015, Orinda Intermediate School was honored as a California Gold Ribbon School, and Del Rey Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School. All five Orinda USD schools were honored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as California Honor Roll Schools based on student achievement data. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers and staff, Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and strong community partnerships as evidenced by the support provided by the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO), Parent Clubs, and the City of Orinda. More information about Orinda USD is available at


About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).