Teachers Honored for Their Oral Health Education Efforts

Dentistry Today


Kool Smiles has announced the winners of its first My Kool Smiles Classroom Grant Program contest. Supported by the Benevis Foundation, the program recognizes kindergarten through fifth grade educators who go above and beyond in promoting dental health education by making it a key part of their curriculum. Each winner will receive $1,000. The winners were:

  • Marian Pinson of Dalton, Ga
  • Arlene Parada of Clinton, Texas
  • LaChandra Hooper of Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
  • Crystal Leyva of El Paso, Texas
  • Jessica Liu of New Britain, Conn

“Kool Smiles is excited to make this announcement and support five deserving teachers in communities across the country for their role as educators,” said Dale Mayfield, DMD, 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 between February 1 and 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 will be used for classroom supplies or school needs.

“Thank you, Kool Smiles, for supporting our roles as teachers in the community,” said Parada, who teaches kindergarten at Lujan Chavez Elementary School in El Paso. “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 Pinson, a teacher at Westwood Elementary School in Dalton, Ga.

A committee of Kool Smiles clinical leaders and Benevis team members reviewed the submissions. The winning applicants were cited for their 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 Hooper, a teacher at Sheppard Elementary School at Sheppard Air Force Base.

“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 Leyva, a teacher at Elfida Chavez Elementary in El Paso.

“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.

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