Posted on August 17, 2016 at 6:00 am
You might not expect to a get lesson in good oral health at the library, but that’s just what happened at all ten libraries of the Spokane County Library District.
The Tooth Fairy Project was launched in February 2016. The idea was to teach little ones (and their parents) the importance of good oral health, with the help of someone kids love—the Tooth Fairy.
The Tooth Fairy (a Disney-trained actress) caused squeals of delight from the youngsters. Her visits happened in conjunction with scheduled Play and Learn Storytimes offered by the Spokane County Library District. There were 27 sessions in five months, some of them packed with kids and their parents and caregivers. For example, one session at the Spokane Valley Library drew 68 kids and adults.
The storytimes ran between 30–50 minutes, which provided plenty of time for learning and fun. Librarians read stories about oral hygiene and led families in educational play. For example, kids could practice brushing a giant set of teeth with an oversized toothbrush or practice oral health on puppets. Kids also got to color, sing, and do other activities centered around nutrition for good oral health.
The highlight of course was when the Tooth Fairy arrived. She reminded the kids what they learned during storytime, played with them, and answered their many questions about her life.
The Tooth Fairy Project reached more than 500 children, from birth to age 5. Every child who attended was given a book to take home and toothbrush. Local dentists, United Healthcare, and Delta Dental of Washington Foundation donated the toothbrushes.
Community-Minded Enterprises received funding for The Tooth Fairy Project thanks to a grant from Empire Health Foundation. We think the experience was priceless.
Jill Johnson works for Community-Minded Enterprises where she is a Communications Specialist and Early Learning Project Coordinator. She also helps facilitate the Inland Northwest Early Learning Alliance serving seven counties in Eastern Washington.
Tags: nutrition, oral health, oral hygiene, stories, storytime, teeth, tooth fairy, toothbrush