Atlanta, GA., Sep 14, 2018
The five winners of the classroom grants are K-5 educators Minnie Sapp of Panama City, Fla.; Lynda Warren of Williams, S.C.; Rachel Cervantez of Lubbock, Texas; Georgia Duan of New York, N.Y.; and Diane Emiliano of El Paso, Texas. Kool Smiles will award each teacher a $1,000 classroom grant in recognition of their guidance and leadership as exceptional teachers who encourage their students to follow good dental health practices by making it a central part of their curriculum.
“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 Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer for 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.”
Submissions for the grant program were accepted August 1 – August 31, 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. As a new school year begins, the grant money is to be used for classroom supplies or school needs.
“It is an honor to receive this support and recognition from Kool Smiles,” said Minnie Sapp, a teacher at Parker Elementary School in Panama City, Fla. “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 Lynda Warren, a teacher at Richard Carroll Elementary School in Bamberg, S.C.
Submissions were carefully reviewed by a committee of Kool Smiles clinical leaders and Benevis team members. The winning applicants demonstrated originality, creativity, and passion for being teachers to children in their community.
“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 Rachel Cervantez, a fourth-grade teacher at Bowie Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas.
“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 Georgia Duan, a teacher at PS 333X The Longwood Academy of Discovery in Bronx, N.Y.
“Teaching is a rewarding profession and being recognized for our efforts in the classroom is very much appreciated. Kool Smiles just made my smile a little brighter!,” said Diane Emiliano, a teacher at Ysleta Elementary School in El Paso, Texas.
For more information about the grant program, please visit
The Kool Smiles classroom grant program is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation.
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles’ mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.
About the Benevis Foundation
The Benevis Foundation is committed to improving dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States through research, education and outreach. The foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations, as well as research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability. For more information, visit http://benevis.com/benevis-foundation/.