Big Smiles Dental comes to elementary school
Prince Edward Elementary School (PECES) recently hosted Big Smiles Dental in the Family and Community Engagement Center. Founded in 1997, Big Smiles is an in-school dental care program which addresses contemporary dental concerns — notably, the lack of affordable access to dental care and its impact on elementary school students — and strives to maintain children’s health.
Big Smiles welcomed all PECES students to participate. Parents opted into the program, and paid for services using either their personal insurance or grants offered through Big Smiles. Services offered to students included (but were not limited to) complete oral exams, routine cleaning, sealants, fluoride, X-Rays and fillings.
According to Big Smiles website, its founders, Dr. Marcy Borofsky and Dr. Margo Woll, created the organization after identifying a strong need for a “dental safety net” for students. On their first visit to a school, they treated issues which are easily preventable if students have access to routine dental care. According to these women, preventing children from pain related to dental issues enables them to succeed personally and academically.
In addition to hosting Big Smiles, the Family and Community Engagement Center offers students and parents a space to collaborate on academic work. This comfortable space inside PECES contains an abundance of educational tools, kits, materials and technology so that parents and students always have the necessary resources to complete projects. This resource center has opened officially for the 2019-20 school year.
The Virginia Department of Education is awarding 28 grants to fund new 21st Century Community Learning Centers in 19 school... read more