Increased access to dental care has arrived at Fairgrieve Elementary School.
Space in the band room has been offered for “CHOMPERS,” a program which provides students in grades pre-kindergarten through six with dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments and dental education.
The program is a partnership between the Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.
“Our school is close to 70 percent poverty rate,” said Principal Jean Ciesla. “Knowing that, there’s a need for families to have dental assistance.”
Dental Hygienist Jessica Overton will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday at the school.
Ciesla said as the program grows, there will be opportunities to expand.
Every six months students may utilize the service, which also provides a new toothbrush to them.
School nurse Lorilee Dempsey said “CHOMPERS” will help families focus on prevention, because healthy children tend to be more focused learners.
“CHOMPERS” enrollment packets are available and collected in Dempsey’s office.
Appointments are scheduled through NOCHSI, but students will receive in-school reminders so they don’t miss cleanings or treatments.
Parents may attend appointments, if desired.
Insurance companies are billed; there is no out-of-pocket expense to families.
If parents do not have insurance, the NOCHSI outreach coordinator will connect families with enrollment opportunities.