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Smile Keepers Captures Golden Bell Award

Sonora, CA — The Golden Bell Award … it’s a first for Tuolumne County Schools.

The Smile Keepers (child dental) program has received the award for excellence by the California School Board Association. Throughout the state there were over 200 applicants. There were 40 awards given and only six in the Wellness Catagory of which Smile Keepers was an entry.

From Program Coordinator Erika Hagstrom Dossi, “To be recognized statewide through an educational award is very special because we are school based. We have received awards in the past from the dental community but from an educational standpoint to be recognized statewide is very special.

Smile Keepers is a school based dental disease prevention program providing services for approximately 3,000 county students. After losing half its state funding due to budget cuts the program was able to raise close to $70,000 thanks to a $25,000 match from the Sonora Area Foundation. This will keep the program afloat for another two years.

Dossi adds that, “We couldn’t survive without the assistance of the County Schools Office and Superintendent Joe Silva. They take care of our fiscal management.” 

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com