An American Dental Education Association (ADEA) report shows that Lessons in a Lunch Box guide elementary students toward dental school. Recently, a dental school applicant cited the Lessons in a Lunchbox program as an example of academic enrichment along their career path.
For the program designed by Dr. Winifred J. Booker that helps children envision themselves becoming dentists, this is a significant milestone.
How do we know a Lessons in a Lunch Box program designed by Dr. Winifred J. Booker is working?
A dental school applicant documents the Lessons in a Lunch Box experience.
The Children’s Oral Health Institute in Owings Mills, Maryland showed results that the Lessons in a Lunch Box program created by Dr. Winifred J. Booker in 2008 is guiding children on the career path of dentistry. According to the Institute:
“Recently, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) reported that one dental school applicant cited the Lessons in a Lunch Box program.
The candidate wrote about the program in the 2022 ADEA AADSAS (Association of American Dental Schools Application Service) application as an example of academic enrichment under the “experience type” section.”
The Institute offered praised to ADEA for helping to track the Lessons in a Lunch Box data.
The nonprofit has sponsored the program to encourage second and third grade children to, “See Yourself Becoming a Dentist,” since 2008. Therefore, 2022 equates to the year when these first youth who have been exposed to Lessons in a Lunch Box qualify to apply to dental school or to a dental hygiene program.
This culmination of the first distribution of the lunch boxes, with the application process to dental school, some 14 years later, is an invaluable milestone delivered via this ordinary container.
“It’s heartening to see the positive impact that innovative resources can teach young students about oral health, even setting them on a career path toward dentistry. Such programs are crucial in developing the next generation of oral health professionals.”Karen P. West, DMD, MPH, President and CEO of ADEA
What is Lessons in a Lunch Box, and who does it help?
Since 2008, Dr. Booker’s Lessons in a Lunch Box program has sent more than 45,000 tangerine-colored lunch boxes to primary school students in nearly every state. ( Each lunch box contains Dr. Booker’s patented Dental Care in a Carrot, an orange container designed to store a toothbrush; Silly Strawberry toothpaste; Tutti Frutti dental floss and a rinse cup.)
On the inside lid of each box is an illustration showing the “5 Steps to Good Flossing and Brushing,” as well as the USDA’s Food Plate — the updated version of its famous Food Pyramid.
According to the Institute, the bright orange lunch box cleverly designed to include career-focused messaging, health care information, and Dental Care in a Carrot® has proven to provide excitement, inspiration and exposure that connects elementary school children to the profession of dental medicine.
How did the introduction of Lessons in a Lunch Box lead to a candidate applying to dental school?
To date nearly 65,000 children and their families across the country have been recipients of the Lessons in a Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks program.
This primary school introduction, in some part has led to the ultimate dividend: a candidate applying to dental school.
The Children’s Oral Health Institute credits many for helping to plant the seeds that likely contributed to this applicant selecting dentistry as a career. The nonprofit has said corporate sponsors, organized dentistry, dental school deans, and student dentists, civic groups and the many supportive volunteers should all feel triumphant.
Learn more about Lessons in a Lunch Box and its creator, Dr. Winifred J. Booker
To learn more about the Lessons in a Lunch Box program and support its mission, visit The Children’s Oral Health Institute at www.mycohi.org.
Its creator, a five-foot-tall force of nature, Dr. Winifred Booker wears a princess crown with a protective face mask attached when treating her young patients in Owings Mills, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb. She has also single-handedly transformed an everyday object for elementary-school kids into a tool to promote awareness of children’s oral health.
In recognition of this and much else, Incisal Edge in 2013 inducted Dr. Booker into its Hall of Fame. Also, in 2017, she received The Lucy Hobbs Project Humanitarian Award for women in dentistry, presented by Benco Dental.