Minnesota Dental Foundation grant supports NTC’s Give Kids a Smile event

Northwest Technical College has received a $500 grant from the Minnesota Dental Foundation to support the annual Give Kids a Smile event coordinated by the college’s dental assisting program.

Each year, dental professionals all over America participate in Give Kids a Smile, providing free dental care to children in need. The event takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of February and is made possible by the collaborative effort of the American Dental Association, the Minnesota Dental Association, volunteer dentists and sponsors.

NTC’s dental assisting program has been providing care for kids in the Bemidji region for more than a dozen years. Last year, the program supported more than 70 kids with nearly $4,000 in free dental work.

Julie Dokken, director of NTC’s dental assisting program, said the grant will help offset some of the costs associated with the program.

“We get dentists from all over the region coming here to provide service,” she said. “We get dental assistants and hygienists to provide services as well, and the majority of the assistants who come back are NTC alumni.”

Northwest Technical College will again participate in Give Kids a Smile on Feb. 5, 2016.

Give Kids a Smile
Community and volunteer clinics receive funding and/or in-kind support for Give Kids a Smile, the two-day charitable program in February that provides free preventive and restorative dental care to children from low-income families. Grants help defray the costs for dental supplies and oral health education materials for the children. In 2014, 4,773 children were seen in 187 community and volunteer clinics and private dental offices across the United States. More than 2,500 volunteers, including 469 dentists, provided $1.7 million in services during the event.