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9,000 Ohio children to be served by oral health project with Reach Out and Read

Dublin, Ohio— A successful child literacy program will now include an oral health component aimed at educating little ones and their parents about proper oral health habits, thanks to a grant from Delta Dental of Ohio.
The $51,680 grant provides brand-new, age-appropriate oral health books to 9,000 children, ages six months to five years, who are served through Reach Out and Read, a non-profit that gives books to children and encourages families to read together. The children will receive the oral health books during their well-child visits. Parents are also educated about how to use the book at home to promote early literacy and establish good oral health habits.
“Children miss 51 million hours of school every year due to oral health related issues,” said Teri Battaglieri, director, communications, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, Delta Dental of Ohio. “When children are not in school, they miss critical instruction time, especially in the early grades when reading skills are taught. Through Reach Out and Read, we can help children develop the good oral health habits and reading skills they’ll need to be healthy and successful in school and in life.”
The books will be distributed at medical centers throughout Ohio. Pediatricians across the state participate in the program and integrate oral health information into well-child visits.
“We know that both reading aloud and good oral health care can contribute to children entering school ready to learn on a regular basis,” said Lori LeGendre, Program Director for Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio. “Building on the success of our first year of partnership with Delta Dental of Ohio, select Ohio Reach Out and Read sites are thrilled to once again take advantage of the trusted relationship a medical provider has with parents of young children to promote the important message of early literacy and oral health.”
2016-17 participating hospitals include:
·         Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Primary Care                        
·         MetroHealth Medical Center
·         Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation
·         Wood County Medical Associates
·         Akron Children’s- Locust Pediatrics                                                            
·         Akron Children’s- St. Elizabeth Ambulatory Care Center                                                 
·         Nationwide- Northland                                                                  
·         Nationwide- Primary Care Yellow                                              
·         Rocket Pediatrics, UT Health
·         Sylvania Adult/Pediatric Medicine
·         St. Vincent’s Family Care Center

About Delta Dental of Ohio
Delta Dental of Ohio and its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina and Tennessee collectively are among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2015, the enterprise paid out $3.3 billion for dental care for 14.1 million members. Offices are located in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Sherwood and Little Rock, Ark.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; Okemos and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; and Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn.
About Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. At each of 10 routine pediatric checkups from birth through age 5, Reach Out and Read-trained doctors and nurses talk with parents about how important it is to read aloud and engage with their young children, and then give a new book to the child to take home and keep.  In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a landmark policy statement promoting literacy as “an essential component of pediatric primary care” for all children. The policy references Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.