Valerie Ubbes received funding from the Delta Dental Foundation for $3000

Valerie Ubbes

According to the School-Based Health Alliance, there are 2500 school-based health clinics in the U.S. with Edgewood City Schools (Trenton, OH) being one of the newest ones, opening during the coronavirus pandemic. Edgewood City Schools has a new dental clinic that does not have any educational programming at this time for oral health education. According to the Children's Defense Fund which promotes the Kids Count profiles in every county of every state for K-12 education, Edgewood City Schools has a 3rd grade reading proficiency of 76.1% - making them fifth out of ten schools in the county. Because oral health literacy is known to be lower in low income families (adults and children) and cavities tend to be higher, the Reading for a Healthy Smile campaign will promote the eBook for Oral Health Literacy in Edgewood City Schools with several priority areas: 1) to provide educational programming on the importance of oral health and how it relates to overall health of all students; 2) to increase dental access to underserved and high-risk populations among elementary children and their parents; 3) to determine the feasibility of the eBook for Oral Health Literacy becoming a part of the school curriculum in health education; and 4) to increase oral health education for people with disabilities (e.g., low literacy, vision impaired or blind, and eventually hearing impaired). Another key aspect of our program is that Miami University will be a support team to the deliberation and decision making that the school professionals and educators will make for their own district. We will be able to adapt and provide high-quality materials in oral health education with a specific focus on oral health literacy during Phase I and Phase II of the grant.

The Principle Investigator, Valerie A. Ubbes, is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and Professor of Health Education at Miami University, who has an extensive background in the preK-12 developmental lifespan and was on the National Health Education Standards Committee. Dr. Ubbes was also recently appointed to the National Consensus Committee for School Health Education and is keenly aware of the Whole School Whole Community and Whole Child (WSCC) agenda from the CDC, which brings education, services, and organizations together in partnership for promoting health and preventing disease.