Apr 12, 2018
Kool Smiles, a leading children's dental health provider, today announced the winners of its first annual My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant Program contest, which awards classroom grants to K-5 educators who go above and beyond in promoting dental health education in the classroom.
The five winners of the classroom grants are K-5 educators Marian Pinson of Dalton, Ga.; Arleen Parada of Clinton, Texas; LaChandra Hooper of Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; Crystal Leyva of El Paso, Texas; and Jessica Liu of New Britain, Conn. Kool Smiles will award each teacher a $1,000 classroom grant in recognition of their leadership as exceptional teachers who encourage their students to follow good dental health practices by making it a key part of their curriculum.
"Kool Smiles is excited to make this announcement and support five deserving teachers in communities across the country for their role as educators," said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer for Kool Smiles. "We hope that this program will inspire other teachers to make dental health lessons a priority in classroom curriculum to help students adopt good dental habits early on in life."
Submissions for the grant program were accepted February 1 – March 30, 2018. Teachers who applied or were nominated submitted an example of a dental lesson plan or essay about how healthy dental habits are being promoted in their classroom. The grant money is to be used for classroom supplies or school needs.
"Thank you, Kool Smiles, for supporting our roles as teachers in the community," said Arleen Parada, a kindergarten teacher at Lujan Chavez Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. "I plan on continuing to make dental health a key part of our curriculum with this classroom grant."
"I am so grateful for this opportunity Kool Smiles has provided. I plan on using the grant to buy more educational tools for our elementary school," said Marian Pinson, a teacher at Westwood Elementary School in Dalton, Ga.
A committee of Kool Smiles clinical leaders and Benevis team members carefully reviewed the submissions. The winning applicants demonstrated originality, creativity, and passion for being teachers to children in their community.
"My classroom is very excited to be given this valuable grant. We plan on using it for literacy and promoting the love of reading," said LaChandra Hooper, a teacher at Sheppard Elementary School at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.
"My class and I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the grant! I am ecstatic and cannot wait to purchase supplies to further my students’ education and to create an even better learning environment for them," said Crystal Leyva, a teacher at Elfida Chavez Elementary in El Paso, Texas.
"Our school is very excited to receive this grant! Thank you for supporting educators in the community," said Jessica Liu, a kindergarten teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in New Britain, Conn.
For more information about the grant program, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com/l/classroomgrants.
The Kool Smiles classroom grant program is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation.
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles’ mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.
About the Benevis Foundation
The Benevis Foundation is committed to improving dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States through research, education and outreach. The foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations, as well as research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability. For more information, visit http://benevis.com/benevis-foundation/.
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