SHIRLEY -- The Shirley Playboard invites all families in the community to attend a "Movie Under the Stars" behind the Lura A. White Elementary School, located at 34 Lancaster Road, on Friday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. The rain date is Saturday, Sept. 13.

The event is free, with concessions available thanks to Shirley Youth Baseball and Shirley's United Way Youth Venture students. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic.

"There is still room available for more concessions," said Playboard Chair Sue Heinz. "We will show a few commercials and a movie short or two, then go right into our feature film around dusk."

A "Shady" Deal

The family-friendly event is being billed as a celebration of the Lura A. White Community Playground's new shade structure. Thanks to a large discount from Moore's Lumber, Rodney Gerace's Construction, and Pinard's Landscaping, the sunny playground now has a permanent shelter in place.

"The owner of the cement company agreed to give the Shirley Playboard a personal loan so that we could get the project done right," said Heinz.

In addition, she said, Nashoba Paving gave the school "a great bid" for the paved walkway to the two benches and new shade structure for accessibility.

"The Playboard is paying for the shade structure, but we are still seeking donations to cover the cost of the concrete pad," Heinz said.

Although the Shirley Playboard and over 60 community volunteers renovated the Lura A.


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White Elementary School playground in 2011, the playground still provided no protection from the sun. The new structure and concrete pathways are part of what the Playboard calls "Phase 2" of the project.

Too much of a good thing ...

While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sun overexposure can lead to sunburn, skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye damage, and immune system suppression.

Ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when school children are most likely to be playing outdoors on the playground, and children and young adults are the most vulnerable to the rays' damaging effects. The addition of the sturdy wooden structure with the blue roof will provide relief for students needing a break from the sun's harmful rays.

Besides access to shade, the EPA recommends the application of a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15 that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays at least 20 minutes before going outside.

For information about the Shirley Playboard or "Movie Night Under the Stars," text Sue Heinz at 508-237-4503, email playfulshirley@comcast.net, or visit www.facebook.com/PlayboardOfShirley.