During the past two Friday afternoons, TUSDM students have been involved with a pilot program teaching elementary kids about tooth decay and good nutrition from the Red Oaks After School program, located in the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown. Working with project advisors, Nancy Marks and Kathryn Dolan, the students designed and executed lesson plans that included games and activities geared towards these topics.
On Friday 4/10, Anjalee Shah (D16) and Olga Raptis (D16), along with Dental Central Rep for the project, Will Chao (D16), visited the kids to teach them about tooth decay and good oral health. The session began with Olga enthusiastically reading a book about tooth decay and visiting the dentist while Anjalee and Will helped engage the kids. Afterwards, they played a game of “Pin The Bacteria On The Tooth” which involved spinning the kids in circles and having them place magnets of bacteria onto a magnetic tooth board. The kids loved the game! For the last activity, the kids showed off their creativity with an arts and crafts project where they made their own mouths– with 10 teeth on the bottom and 10 on the top– by gluing on colored pieces of paper onto a paper plate.
The following week, Anjalee and Will returned to Josiah Quincy to teach the same students about maintaining healthy teeth and a healthy body. Anjalee read a book to the classroom while Will acted out the story with puppets. The kids then got to play a fun game where they picked a snack from a bin and placed it into another bin across the room while acting out how they thought it would make them feel if they ate it. There were kids running, skipping, and slumping around! In the end, the kids got to do another arts and crafts session where they drew in healthy food items into a body outlined on paper.
This upcoming Friday, we will return to the school to have the children make posters of what they learned. It should be a great way to reinforce some of the main themes that were emphasized during the prior visits. In the future, members of the AAPHD, Smile Squad and AAPD will be going into other afterschool classrooms after evaluating this pilot run.