Dr. Mary Finnegan – Shade Structure Grant Sponsor

This article appeared in the Omaha World Herald Tuesday, May 31, 2011
By Michael Kelly

Sun Safety is important for all of us, but did you know that certain medications have a potential side effect that makes people more sun-sensitive?

Two-thirds of the 95 special-needs students at Brook Valley School, near 110th and Harrison Streets, take such medications, which can also decrease their tolerance for heat.  The school raised money in recent years for a “multi-sensory, therapeutic playground,” but it soon became apparent that it needed something else – shade.

Last week Dr. Mary T. Finnegan, an Omaha dermatologist, spoke at a dedication ceremony for a shade structure at the school.  It was paid for by an $8,000 grant from the American Academy of Dermatology and a $5,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation.

Beth Draper, the school’s counselor, said the playground isn’t merely for play.  At recess, students with autism as well as language, emotional and behavioral problems learn about cooperation, coordination and personal space.

Brook Valley, part of Educational Service Unit No. 3, takes students from 22 school districts.


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