Building student involvement, fostering civic engagement and enhancing community service to advance public health. 

Elaine Conroy, RDH with TUSDM’s Community Dental Hygiene Team participated in the Higginson School Healthy Family Night sponsored by Boston Public Schools on May 17. This outdoor health fair consisted of tables staffed by different groups focusing on different areas of personal health such as a local health center, a nutritionist, and more.  The students visited each table with their parents and learned what each table had to offer. Elaine talked about daily oral care and snacking with the aid of some oral health promotion tools – she gave toothbrushing demonstrations a dinosaur puppet and large toothbrush, displayed a Rethink Your Drink poster and Candy/Snack poster, and gave out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and some educational brochures. Elaine reflects on her experience and shares what she learned about how to make an event like this even more successful:

“I learned more about the families of the school population we serve, and that some families are much more in tune to oral health than others.  The community benefited from some basic education and also by receiving some samples and reading material.  The puppet and posters worked well (the school is K-2).  Puzzles and more brochures in English would be good for next time.  I think that most of the kids may be too young for the games and they did not stay at the table long enough to play. We like to do these health fairs if the nurse or principal asks us because it promotes good will between the Boston Public Schools and TUSDM.  Also, some of the children we see in these programs come to TUSDM for dental care.”