New Grant Money Available For Oral Health Programs In Low-Income School Districts

PARSIPPANY — Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation announced this week that its fourth annual Oral Health Education Initiative program for public and charter elementary schools in school districts formerly known as Abbott Districts is accepting applications through June 18.

The grant program is designed to encourage teachers, curriculum coordinators, school nurses or anyone else in the school district to create a new or expanded 2010-2011 oral health education program for third-grade classes that teach young students the value of daily oral hygiene.


At least three schools, each from separate districts, will be selected to receive up to $5,000 toward their programs. To date, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has awarded approximately $40,000 in Oral Health Education Initiative grants, as part of nearly $1 million in annual grants provided to New Jersey organizations that increase access to dental services for underserved populations.

The purpose of the grant is to underscore that good oral health leads to good overall health and that the continued need for improved oral health in America’s children, especially those in underserved areas, needs to be addressed at all levels, including in the classroom.

“When we discovered that New Jersey’s educational curriculum does not include specific dental education guidelines past the second-grade level, we saw an opportunity and a responsibility to expand learning to third-graders and help teachers instill good oral health habits that students can take with them into adulthood,” commented Diane Belle, vice president of the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation.

Applicant schools 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; how to properly brush and floss; the role dentists and hygienists play in overall health maintenance and disease prevention; and the relationship between good food choices and oral health.

Recipients of the 2009-2010 Oral Health Education Initiative grants include Florence Avenue Elementary School in Irvington, E.W. Kirkpatrick School in Paterson, Joseph H. Brensinger School in Jersey City and Joseph C. Caruso School in Keansburg. Their programs showcase a range of creative activities, mentoring initiatives and field trips.

Delta Dental will accept Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation’s Oral Health Education Initiative applications through June 18. Grantees will be notified on or before Aug. 15. For more information, contact Kimberly Elmore at 1-973-944-4555 or

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