Creating Dental Health Awareness during Times of Uncertainty
United Way Central Jersey’s (UWCJ’s) mission is to create access to an effective preventive dental care service for preschoolers in the Jamesburg Public School District. According to the CDC, “About 1 in 5 (20%) of children aged 5–11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.” Jamesburg School District students are no exception. According to the UWCJ Family Advocate in Jamesburg, “It’s common to see students coming to the nurse suffering from dental discomforts such as swollen and infected gums.” These dental health issues are due to the lack of dental health resources and access to dental insurance plans. Therefore, we are excited to be one of the grantees of the NJ Healthy Communities Network.
As an organization, UWCJ seeks to ensure access to affordable and quality health care in Middlesex County. Even though our initial outreach plans in Jamesburg have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are planning to continue our efforts remotely. Our efforts will include performing basic planning, identifying health care partners in the community, and researching potential curriculum changes. We will also use social media to create awareness about the program on Facebook Community Pages, the school website, and the Jamesburg Public School App. Finally, we may be able to engage electronically with a group of preschool parents that expressed their interest in obtaining more information about dental care in a Family Assessment survey performed in February.
We are hoping to put our in-person outreach in place by June. JFK Elementary School in Jamesburg sponsors a summer program which will be the perfect opportunity to start the program.
About the Grantee
The United Way of Central Jersey provides leadership to create opportunities for a better life for people living or working in our community who are needy, at risk and vulnerable. We achieve this by mobilizing people, organizations and financial resources to create and sustain programs that achieve targeted outcomes and lasting change through volunteerism, partnerships services and advocacy.