DELTA DENTAL FOUNDATION AWARDS NEARLY $15,000 IN ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION GRANTS TO HELP NEW JERSEY STUDENTS
Grants will Fund Programs in Irvington, Jersey City, Passaic, Paterson and Phillipsburg
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—February 3, 2016—The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has granted a total of nearly $15,000 to seven New Jersey schools where poor oral hygiene is often a hidden barrier to learning. The 2015-16 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.
New OHEI grant recipients for the 2015-16 school year are Green Street Elementary School in Phillipsburg, N.J., Grove Street Elementary School in Irvington, N.J. and Paterson Public School No. 12 in Paterson, N.J. Former recipients receiving renewed grants to continue their programs include: Daniel F. Ryan School No. 19 in Passaic, N.J.; Burch Charter School of Excellence in Irvington, N.J.; Gold Door Charter School in Jersey City, N.J.; and Raphael Cordero Elementary School in Jersey City, N.J.
“The schools that receive this grant have as few as 22 percent of their students receiving routine dental care and sometimes as many as 80 percent suffering from tooth decay,” said Gene F. Napoliello, D.D.S., president of the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. “As a result, they may miss school or lack the ability to concentrate due to oral health problems. Our goal is to help teach them the importance of good oral health, and remove this hidden barrier to learning.”
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 $102,000 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 1.5 million people through contracts with groups in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental Insurance Company 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, providing research programs designed to increase public awareness of the general benefits of good 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 the state.