Save the date:
Give Kids A Smile NYC
Friday, February 3, 2023
We hope to be back in East Harlem schools on February 3, 2023 after two-years of virtual programs!
Read about the GKAS NYC 2022 Virtual Program:
GKAS NYC Continues to Educate East Harlem Students!
We are proud to report that the underserved children in District 4 East Harlem schools received critical oral hygiene awareness education in early 2022 in a safe way. Initially, plans were underway to move forward with an in-person program. However, COVID infection rates increased significantly early in the year, so the schools indefinitely postponed the in-person portion of the event. We moved forward with the remote/virtual and oral health poster contest portions of the program developed last year by the Give Kids A Smile Steering Committee. In addition,1,600 toothbrushes, toothpaste and educational pamphlets were delivered to the schools for distribution to the students.
Fortunately, in 2021 the committee had prepared three unique and engaging educational oral health video presentations for the lower, middle, and upper school children that were part of the teaching curriculum in late February/March. Thanks to the popularity of the poster contest first introduced last year, a new contest was held, inviting students to submit drawings of themselves with a super smile holding a toothbrush. The students really put a lot of creativity into their artwork! Sorely needed school-related prizes were awarded to a grand prize winner and three honorable mention winners from each school. These awards are made possible by a generous grant received from the New York State Dental Foundation and Henry Schein.
A live-stream Parent Workshop was held on March 17. Members of the GKAS Steering Committee reviewed with the parents much of the same information the children received, and provided guidance on the best ways parents can help their children achieve and maintain good oral health. Interpreters were available as needed and there was a live question and answer period on all dental-related topics. After the presentation, the winners of the poster contest were announced to eager and enthusiastic students and their families.
None of this would be possible without the leadership of GKAS NYC General Chair Deborah Weisfuse and Steering Committee members: Drs. Raya Abu-Zahra, Megan Chin, Ken Cooperman, Lois Jackson, Anne Kossowan, Michelle Lee, Ioanna Mentzelopoulou, Whitney Mostafiz, Katherine Park, JoAnna Pufnock, Jaskaren Randhawa, Anya Viron and staff Alexandra Gonzalez and Susan Ingoglia.
Give Kids A Smile NYC 2022 Poster Contest
All 52 drawings entered into the Oral Hygiene Poster Contest showed a lot of enthusiasm, effort, and creativity. There was one grand prize winner and twelve honorable mention winners. Congratulations to all who participated!
The thought of holding our annual Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) event during the pandemic was a
daunting challenge at first. But the members of the GKAS NYC Steering Committee met over
several months last year and rose to the challenge!
Due to COVID-19 and the fact that only 10-15% of children were attending NYC public schools
in February, non-teachers were not allowed in school buildings. Our GKAS Committee utilized the convenience and benefits of remote learning technology and developed unique, fun, exceptionally creative and educational videos on oral health, which were shared with 5,000+ students.