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CCCCD Students Provide Dental Care For First Graders



CCCCD Students Provide Dental Care For First Graders

NOV. 26, 2001-Twenty-four first grade students from Barron Elementary in Plano had their teeth sealed free of charge compliments of a partnership between Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) dental hygiene program, Dental Health Programs and Presbyterian Hospital of Plano.

According to Paul Hoffman, executive director of Dental Health Programs, the number one childhood disease in the U.S. is dental disease. "If you do not have disposable income, dental care is not high on your priority list. I want to make it an annual or biannual event. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these children and make a difference in their future," he said.

Many of these children have never been to a dentist, according to Dr. Nahid Nikpour, Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) and CCCCD professor of dental hygiene. "At least six of the children did not have toothbrushes at home," she said.

Dr. Cindy Gay, dentist from Dental Health Plano, part of the Dental Health Programs, screened the children and provided the facility, equipment and toothbrushes for the children. Presbyterian Hospital of Plano and Plano ISD provided transportation for the children, and CCCCD dental hygiene students sealed the first graders' teeth.

"Collin County Community College District's dental hygiene program is pleased to be part of this partnership with Dental Health Plano and Presbyterian Hospital of Plano," said Joanne C. Fletcher, RDH, MS, CCCCD director of dental hygiene. "This has been a wonderful opportunity to care for community needs while enhancing learning experiences for our students. Dental hygiene students are learning the importance of civic responsibility while volunteering in supervised clinical settings."

This was a Service-Learning project for second year dental hygiene students Shelley Allen (Rowlett), Dianna Cooper (Allen), Patrice East (Plano), Kristin Farley (Allen), Jennifer Freeman (Richardson), Mika Maranto (Plano), Catherine Morrell (Carrollton), Emily Moseley (Allen), Kathleen Noe (Frisco), Jennifer Pigg (McKinney), Amanda Quarles (McKinney), Lana Rhodes (Greenville), Stephanie Schneider (Collinsville), Cristina Small (Dallas), Tamara Sookma (Plano ) and Sunitha Zaki (Plano). Service-Learning projects allow students to take their classroom knowledge and apply it as volunteers in the community.

First grader Jeffiery Studabaker said he learned a lot. "I learned to brush your teeth for two minutes," he said.

For more information about Dental Health Programs, call Paul Hoffman at 214.630.7080, ext. 112. For more information about CCCCD's dental hygiene program, call 972.548.6537 or 972.516.5030.