Cedar Street Preschool has been awarded a 2011 Maine Childcare Skin Cancer Prevention mini-grant.

Preschool owner MaryBeth Pride said in a news release she plans to use the $1,500 grant to purchase awnings to increase shade on the deck of the school and outside play area. She also plans to host a Sun Safety Day for community children with the assistance from area civic groups.

The purpose of the mini-grants is to support the integration of skin protection education into early childhood curricula, the practice of sun safety within centers serving young children, and the creation of sun-safe childcare environments for the children of Maine.

Funding for these grants is provided by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer but also the most preventable, according to the news release. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, especially during childhood and adolescence. Even one sunburn in early life can increase an individual’s risk of skin cancer as an adult.

Cedar Street Preschool is a small language-based preschool and after-care facility with an emphasis on early literacy, language and social skills.

For more information, call 594-7206.