Nearly 9,500 area kindergarten and first grade students received dental education and training during the 2009-2010 school year thanks to a partnership between Children’s Hospital and the Virginia Department of Health – Dental Division and a generous donation from Kohl’s Department Stores. As part of the hospital’s mission to be a resource and provider of specialized health services, the Dental Education Program was developed in 2007 to teach local elementary students about dental health and hygiene.
During the program’s first year, 1,186 first grade students in three Richmond and all Hopewell, Prince George and Petersburg area schools received information through the 60-minute program designed to meet the Virginia Standards of Learning health requirement. The following year the program expanded to first grades in Charles City and Dinwiddie County, bringing the message to an additional 575 students. This year, by providing training and resources to school nurses in Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties, developing a 30-minute educational program for some kindergarten classes and expanding to New Kent and Colonial Heights, Children’s Hospital shared dental health information with nearly 9,500 students, 5,167 of whom participated in programs led by their school nurses. The remaining students participated in programs led by Children’s Hospital representatives.
“The education that this program provides is so important to children as they’re getting their permanent teeth,” commented Cyndi Cline, Dental Outreach Coordinator. “They learn how and why they have to take care of their teeth. Feedback from schools has been amazing.”
This year’s school nurse training program brought 30 nurses covering 55 schools to the hospital for a half-day education session in September 2009. In addition to learning how to teach the program, school nurses received posters for teachers and toothbrushes, dental floss and activity books for students. Nurses then selected the schools in their district to receive the dental program and materials.
This summer, Children’s Hospital will expand School Dental Resource Day to include school nurses from Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Richmond and Petersburg. With school nurses focusing on many area students, Children’s Hospital representatives will take their dental health messages to students in 11 new schools in Colonial Heights, Henrico, Hopewell and Richmond in February 2010 in recognition of Dental Health Month.
The information on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only; it does not contain specific medical advice. If you have specific health questions or problems, consult a health care professional for personal medical advice.