If teaching is the best way to learn, how can we help Jamaican students learn more about dental health? Tooth Tales, a story competition for Jamaican high school students, is a new method of dental education.
To enter the competition, students wrote an original short story aimed toward 8-year-old kids. Tooth Tales offered students the opportunity to express creativity, learn by teaching and earn recognition for their work.
Great Shape! volunteer Leanne Rodine came up with the idea of creating a story competition and rewarding four student authors with prize money. Through the ongoing partnership of Great Shape! Inc. and the Sandals Foundation, Tooth Tales encourages local high school students to use their imagination and learn more about dental health.
Why is dental education so important in Jamaica? With only one dentist per 100,000 people in rural areas, many do not receive the care they need. Because tourism is such a big part of the Jamaican economy, a healthy smile can mean the difference between getting a job and unemployment.
“A number of our children have never been to the dentist,” said Sheryl McGaw-Douse of the Sandals Foundation. “It is crucial for us to educate the children whilst young to prevent and combat tooth care challenges which may occur later.”
Four stories will be chosen to receive prizes of up to $295 USD each for the author and their school and a day pass for four to a Beaches resort. The four finalists will be announced at the end of this week. They will receive their awards at a ceremony in Negril on November 18th.