DELTA DENTAL OF NEW JERSEY FOUNDATION AWARDS NEARLY $15,000 IN ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION GRANTS TO COMBAT HIDDEN LEARNING BARRIER
Grants Will Fund Programs in East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City and Passaic
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — October 24, 2016 — The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation announces the allocation of nearly $15,000 in grants to seven New Jersey schools where poor oral hygiene is often a hidden barrier to learning. The 2016-17 Oral Health Education Initiative (OHEI) grants provide funding for teachers, curriculum coordinators and/or school nurses to develop a new or expanded oral health education program for third and fourth grade students.
The schools were selected for the grants based on need. Applications were submitted detailing aspects of their program. New OHEI grant recipients for the 2016-17 school year include:
The schools that are receiving this grant may have as few as 10 percent of their students receiving routine dental care, and sometimes as many as 90 percent suffering from tooth decay, according to the applications received.
“Unfortunately for many children, going to the dentist is not a rite of passage every six months—or even every couple of years,” said Gene F. Napoliello, D.D.S., president, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. “As a result, children may be living with persistent, distracting pain, which is a barrier to learning. By teaching the importance of routine oral health care through our OHEI grants, we hope to be able to make a difference.”
Grant recipients are asked to develop 10 monthly activities—one for each month of the school year—that help children understand why it is important to maintain proper daily oral hygiene and how to take care of their teeth. Topics include how to properly brush and floss, the roles dentists and hygienists play in overall health maintenance and disease prevention, and the relationship between good food choices and oral health. The program often includes hands-on learning through demonstrations, games, skits, poster and essay contests, and sometimes field trips to a Toothmobile or dentist’s office.
Since 2007, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has awarded more than $115,000 in OHEI grants. This is part of approximately $1 million in annual grants provided to New Jersey organizations that help increase access to dental services and education for underinsured populations, specifically children, the developmentally disabled, and seniors.
About Delta Dental
Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.6 million people through contracts with groups in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a newly licensed insurer that writes dental coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs. For more information, visit www.deltadentalnj.com..
About Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation
Delta Dental established the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation in 1986. Its mission includes promoting and assisting educational projects devoted to the enhancement of dental health, and improving dental health through the science of dentistry. Each year, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation provides financial support to various organizations throughout New Jersey and Connecticut.