Partnership for Children of Johnston County received a $1,000 grant on Friday from the Delta Dental Foundation to provide dental education on-site by volunteer dental professionals at community-based child care and after school programs. The partnership received an additional $1, 664 from Delta Dental of North Carolina as a result of its #SmilesForKidsNC Facebook campaign.
Healthy Oral Prevention & Education (HOPE): Inspiring Healthy Smiles is designed to aid the underserved, disadvantaged preschool and youth population. The program will address a variety of dental topics, and participants will receive free dental screenings.
“The first five years of a child’s life sets the foundation for their future and is a critical time to help them own healthy habits,” Dwight Morris, Executive Director of the Partnership for Children of Johnston County said. “Dental health is a vital component of healthy development in young children, and we are grateful for the commitment Delta Dental Foundation has made to improving children’s dental health. Approximately 17% of Johnston County’s children enter kindergarten with untreated tooth decay. This partnership to provide community based dental education for our most vulnerable children will surely provide a valuable impact on their future dental health and successes in school and life.”
“This program is near and dear to my heart,” said Rachel Beamer, a dental assistant with Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry and creator of HOPE. “I have great memories of my mother, a dentist, coming into my elementary school classrooms and using interactive presentations to educate my classmates about the importance of dental health. HOPE will also utilize interactive resources, such as stuffed animals with teeth the children can brush, during presentations and offer resources to send home with the children.”
The Delta Dental Foundation focuses on ensuring that children and adults in North Carolina receive high-quality oral health education and dental care. The Partnership for Children of Johnston County grant is one of 17 grants totaling $40,000 awarded to North Carolina nonprofits providing oral health programs. Grant recipients were selected based on criteria that included the number of at-risk children served, the uniqueness of the program, the level of community involvement in the program and the ability to measure results.
“Tooth decay is the most common, chronic childhood disease in the U.S. Children miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health-related issues,” Delta Dental of North Carolina CEO Curtis
Ladig said. “We are pleased that the Delta Dental Foundation is providing support to the Partnership for Children of Johnston County to help reduce tooth decay and make a positive impact on the lives of our children.”
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit www.deltadentalnc.com.
Delta Dental of North Carolina is a nonprofit dental service corporation created in 1970 to provide dental benefits throughout the state. Its mission is to improve the oral health of the communities it serves. It does so by providing affordable access to oral health care with the largest network of providers, including two out of every three dentists, in North Carolina.
The Partnership for Children of Johnston County is a non-profit organization that helps improve the safety, health and emotional well-being of young children, by enhancing the quality of childcare, supporting strong families and reaching out to at-risk kids. We work collaboratively with like-minded organizations and strive toward early childhood education and school readiness for all of Johnston County’s children.