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QCC Provides Free Dental Assistance for Area Children

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
508.854.2849
cronayne [at] qcc.mass.edu

Release Date: 
4/20/2007

WORCESTER, Mass. –   The Quinsigamond Community College Dental Hygiene program will again conduct its Kidseal Project, benefiting Worcester Public School children, beginning in May.

Kidseal provides needed free dental care to area children in Worcester.  Dental hygiene students at QCC, along with volunteer dentists and hygienists from the community, participate in the project.   QCC students visit eight Worcester public schools in the spring semester and provide sealants and a fluoride varnish to children.  In total, close to 1,500 students are serviced with fluoride and 300 children are provided sealants, with both procedures helping to clean teeth and prevent future dental issues.

“There is no need for our children to suffer with dental infections that can cause pain, discomfort, or loss of teeth,” stated Joyce Cooney, QCC Professor of Dental Hygiene and the Kidseal coordinator. “I know that our program won’t solve the problem, but we feel it helps a great deal.”

Cooney believes that the difficulty in accessing dental care for children of low income families, as well as poor dental health education and a lack of fluoridated community water, all contribute to the dental problems they see through Kidseal.

Kidseal is part of the unique service-learning, community service component of the QCC curriculum.  In total, the College provides well over $10,000 of in-kind free services to area children.  The Kidseal Project is also the first of its kind in Massachusetts.

“I am proud that our Kidseal initiative was the first in the Commonwealth, as now many colleges and facilities have modeled our program,” added Cooney.

Among the schools benefiting from the Kidseal Project are Grafton Street School, Union Hill, Burncoat Street School, Lake View School, Chandler Magnet, Vernon Hill, Lincoln, and McGrath schools.

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.