Oral Health Grants Available to Schools (via @njdotcom)

16 May

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Too many children miss school, or have trouble concentrating in class, because of dental-related ailments. Poor oral health not only presents a concern for overall health; it is a barrier to learning. That’s why each year, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation awards Oral Health Education Initiative (OHEI) grants to schools.

Since 2007, our Foundationhas awarded more than $93,000 in OHEI grants. This is part of approximately $1 million in annual grants to organizations in New Jersey and Connecticut that help increase access to dental services and education for underserved populations—specifically children, the developmentally disabled, and seniors.

The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation is currently accepting OHEI grant applications for the 2015-16 school year. At least three schools, each from a separate district, will be chosen to receive up to $5,000 to put toward the program. If you know a school in an underserved area, please share this information.

How the OHEI Program Works

The OHEI program is for students in third-grade and/or fourth-grade classes. To qualify for an OHEI grant, schools must be located in districts formerly known as Abbott school districts (including Charter Schools). In many of these schools, just 10% of the students receive routine dental care, and more than 50% suffer from tooth decay.

Applicants must submit an oral health education program made up of 10 activities to be presented monthly throughout the school year. Prior grant recipients have taught topics such as: why it is important to maintain proper daily oral hygiene; how to properly brush and floss; the function of the dentist and hygienist; the relationship between oral health and food choices; and the relationship between oral health and overall health. School programs have included activities such as reading and performing plays about good oral health, using disclosing tablets to identify areas plaque may form for better tooth brushing, and creating a dental health calendar.

Schools must fill out an application, which includes an itemized budget for the program. Applications and more information may be found online on the Delta Dental of New Jersey website. The 2015-16 OHEI applications are due by June 19, 2015.

Through the OHEI grants, students are brushing up on the oral health habits that will help keep them in school and learning. Our goal is for the students to bring these messages back to their families, and to practice good oral care for a lifetime.

Source: http://www.nj.com/helpinghands/deltadental/index.ssf/2015/05/oral_health_grants_available_t.html

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