Give Kids A Smile Events
Give Kids A Smile Day
More than 10 years ago the ADA began Give Kids A Smile, celebrated annually on the first Friday in February. The program was launched with these four objectives in mind:
- To demonstrate dentistry’s commitment to addressing access to care;
- To raise awareness of the high level of oral disease suffered by children primarily from low income families;
- To enable volunteer dental teams across the country to provide free dental care, screenings and education to children in need; and
- To urge policymakers to increase funding for children’s oral health.
In 2006 the ADA decided to look for ways to expand Give Kids A Smile to "More Than Just A Day". A National Advisory Committee was constituted to guide expansion efforts, focusing on three primary areas: program enhancement, fundraising and promising practices to highlight Give Kids A Smile program. The committee’s vision statement is:
Our goal is the elimination of cavities in U.S. five year olds by 2020.
GKAS & NASCAR
For the last two years, Give Kids A Smile has joined with the ADA Foundation, 3M ESPE and Henry Schien Cares to host screening and education events at select NASCAR races. Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M ESPE car, serves as ambassador of the program. In 2011, 175 children were provided oral health services at the Charlotte, North Carolina, Speedway and in 2012, approximately 300 children benefited at the Richmond International Speedway in Virginia. View a video message from Greg Biffle.
ADA Foundation GKAS Gala
Each year the ADA Foundation sponsors a Give Kids A Smile Awards Gala. Join us in raising funds and awareness for the program at the next Gala at the ADA Annual Session in October 2013.
GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute and Symposium
Beginning in 2007, the annual GKAS Symposium brought together individuals who were given the opportunity to learn how to initiate, expand and/or enhance a GKAS program. Over the years, the symposium evolved and has now become the GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute. Held each October in St. Louis, 10 pre-selected individuals attend a 3-4 day intensive hands-on training. Participants receive comprehensive training from experienced GKAS staff. These individuals are looked upon as GKAS Ambassadors and can share their knowledge within their own communities.
Find more information about the:
- 2013 Give Kids A Smile Community Leadership Development Institute
- Give Kids A Smile Symposium Proceedings
GKAS Program Champions
The GKAS National Advisory Committee has invited seven like-minded programs to champion the cause and join the ADA in building one central voice advocating for oral health care for underserved children.
The programs selected share GKAS’s same vision and goals.
- America's Dentist Care Foundation (Mission of Mercy)
- Colgate's Bright Smiles Bright Futures
- Henry Schein Cares: Healthy Children, Healthy Lifestyles
- National Museum of Dentistry
- Smiles Change Lives
- National Association of School Nurses
National Children’s Dental Health Month
Give Kids A Smile is an annual centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month NCDHM is celebrated during the entire month of February. NCDHN focuses on providing oral health education to all children despite their economic status. Learn more about National Children's Dental Health Month.
Find Oral Health Care
Give Kids A Smile is an access to dental care program. Find out if there is a program in your area.