The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has awarded grants of $110,000 each to Holy Cross Head Start, Inc. and Cattaraugus Wyoming Counties Project Head Start to expand the Cavity Free Kids program across western New York over the next two years. By naming these two sites as regional hubs, Cavity Free Kids will double to reach more than 10,000 children across western New York annually.
Cavity Free Kids, part of the Health Foundation’s CHOMPERS! Bringing Dental Care to Kids initiative, is a best practice oral health curriculum designed to help children develop lifelong healthy dental habits and better oral health. Cavity Free Kids includes curricula and materials appropriate for almost any type of early child care setting.
With this new grant award, Holy Cross Head Start, Inc. and Cattaraugus Wyoming Counties Project Head Start will become regional hubs for the Cavity Free Kids Program. In this role, both organizations will serve as a central Cavity Free Kids information, referral and resource center as it works to train new Cavity Free Kids trainers in the community and expand the program to new sites throughout Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Allegany counties.
Both Holy Cross Head Start, Inc. and Cattaraugus Wyoming Counties Project Head Start have worked with the Foundation since the initial phase of Cavity Free Kids was launched with the first cohort of grantees in 2010.
“Since we launched the Cavity Free Kids program and began implementing the curriculum in classrooms across western New York, we have seen the day-to-day oral health habits of the children who participate in the program improve each year. The Foundation is very excited about the expansion of the curriculum across our region, and the impact it will have on many more children living in poverty,” Health Foundation President Ann F. Monroe said.