Kool Smiles has announced the winners of its second My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant Program contest, which awards grants to K-5 educators who go above and beyond in promoting dental health education. This year’s winners are Minnie Sapp of Panama City, Fla; Lynda Warren of Williams, SC; Rachel Cervantez of Lubbock, Texas; Georgia Duan of New York City; and Diane Emiliano of El Paso, Texas. Each teacher will receive a $1,000 grant.
“Kool Smiles launched our classroom grants last year and is pleased to continue this annual program that recognizes and supports deserving teachers in communities nationwide for their significant role in the lives of children inside and outside of the classroom,” said Dale Mayfield, DMD, chief dental officer of Kool Smiles. “Educators play a pivotal role in linking children and dental health. We hope that this program will inspire other teachers to make oral health lesson plans part of their classroom curriculum.”
Teachers who applied or were nominated for the grants submitted an example of a dental lesson plan or essay about how healthy dental habits are promoted in their classroom. Submissions were reviewed by a committee of Kool Smiles clinical leaders and Benevis team members, and they were judged on their originality, creativity, and passion. As a new school year begins, the grant money will be used for classroom supplies or school needs.
“It is an honor to receive this support and recognition from Kool Smiles,” said Sapp, a teacher at Parker Elementary School in Panama City. “As children learn and grow, dental health is an important part of that process. The classroom grant will go a long way in helping us with school supplies for the new school year!”
“I am so grateful to be given this opportunity by Kool Smiles and plan on continuing to make dental health a key part of our school curriculum with this grant,” said Warren, a teacher at Richard Carroll Elementary School in Bamberg, SC.
“Being awarded the Kool Smiles classroom grant for dental health curriculum is great affirmation that including these lessons about the importance of dental health really matters,” said Cervantez, a fourth-grade teacher at Bowie Elementary School in Lubbock.
“Teaching students about dental hygiene and healthy habits at a young age sets them up for success in the classroom and beyond. Thank you to Kool Smiles for supporting our students, their families, and educators from coast to coast,” said Duan, a teacher at PS 333X, the Longwood Academy of Discovery, in the Bronx, NY.
“Teaching is a rewarding profession, and being recognized for our efforts in the classroom is very much appreciated,” said Emiliano, a teacher at Yselta Elementary School in El Paso. “Kool Smiles just made my smile a little brighter!”