Thursday, May 17, 2018

Delta Dental Plan of VT awards $120,000

The Delta Dental Plan of Vermont Board of Trustees approved a two-year grant of $120,000 to the Vermont Head Start / Early Head Start programs to support the Vermont Head Start Association Tooth Tutor program.

The grant period will operate through Sept. 30, 2019. Since 2010, Delta Dental Plan of Vermont and the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation have provided significant financial support to the Tooth Tutor program.

The Tooth Tutor program improves oral health outcomes for children from low-income families served by Head Start registered dental hygienists, aka “Tooth Tutors.” The Tooth Tutors work with Head Start children and families to assist in locating dental homes for children, provide oral health activities that help children become comfortable going to the dentist, allay parents’ concerns or anxieties around going to the dentist and work with local dental practices to help expedite dental exams and treatment for Head Start children.

“John” was a bright and curious Head Start preschooler. He loved to learn, but sometimes had a hard time paying attention. A Tooth Tutor visited the classroom and found that John was in pain from dental decay and he could not chew his food! His family did not speak English, and John was afraid of going to the dentist. The Tooth Tutor met John and his mother, bringing along her puppets and a large toothbrush. John had a great time role-playing dentist, and the Tooth Tutor established a trusting relationship with the family. With the help of an interpreter arranged by Head Start, at John’s dental visit, the Tooth Tutor was able to help his mother fully understand the situation and the next steps. The child received dental services successfully, and the family received nutritional counseling to help avoid future problems, all according to a press release from Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA).

“We’re excited about supporting this program again,” said Northeast Delta Dental Director of Marketing & Communications Kathleen Walker, APR. “We look for opportunities to fund oral health programs that serve young children and their parents, because it’s so important that children be trained early to care for their teeth and gums and for their parents to recognize the need for regular dental care.”

Paul Behrman, director of Champlain Valley Head Start and Chair of the Vermont Head Start Association (VHSA) said, “Oral health care for young children – especially those from families with low income – continues to be an issue in Vermont. VHSA is delighted that Delta Dental Plan of Vermont continues to fund this critically important oral health program, which has such a positive impact on the health of children served in Vermont’s Head Start programs.”

Delta Dental Plan of Vermont is one of three Delta Dental Plans doing business jointly as Northeast Delta Dental. Northeast Delta Dental administers dental benefits in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, offering dental insurance plans for organizations of all sizes and individuals and families with no access to employer-sponsored dental benefits. To learn more, visit www.nedelta.com.

Vermont Head Start Association is comprised of the seven regional Head Start programs in the state of Vermont. VHSA’s vision is to engage parents, partners, the public and lawmakers to achieve the highest quality early learning for young children through professional development of the workforce, collaboration with our partners and advocacy for high-quality programs for children, birth to five years old, and their families.

SEVCA Head Start provides high-quality services which help children and families thrive and reach their full potential. SEVCA serves children ages three to five years and their families. SEVCA offers center-based, child care and preschool, to eligible families, in locations throughout Windsor Counties. All Head Start program options provide information, resources and referrals regarding the full array of early education, health, parenting, family service supports and services to children with special needs.



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