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2014 GKAS Institute

March 25, 2014

Apply by April 29 for leadership development grants

Give Kids A Smile coordinators nationwide can learn hands-on how to launch, expand or enhance their programs by applying for a 2014 Give Kids A Smile Community Leadership Development Institute grant.

The GKAS Institute, set for Oct. 22-25 in St. Louis, offers selected participants the opportunity to learn proven best practices to initiate, expand and/or enhance a GKAS program. The program is sponsored by Hu-Friedy, Henry Schein and the ADA Foundation.

In February, Give Kids A Smile-St. Louis Executive Director Joan Allen visited Carbondale, Ill., to observe the Southern Illinois University GKAS program. Southern Illinois University Dental Hygiene Program’s GKAS Coordinator, Jennifer Meyer, participated in the leadership program in 2013.

"The Carbondale program has added more restorative work for children on-site," said Ms. Allen. "Their GKAS event is wonderful and treats more than 200 kids in one day. I’m always pleased to see that we’ve had an impact on the national GKAS event even in the smallest ways. The more smiles it brings to kids, the better! We look forward to our next institute in October."

A link to the online application can be found on the GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute webpage. The deadline is April 29.

Candidates must demonstrate commitment and ability to begin a new GKAS program or enhance an existing one; have experience with managing/chairing an access to care event; and hold a position in their organization that will allow them to effectively implement lessons learned during the GKAS Institute. Applicants do not have to be a licensed dentist or hygienist.

Participants will not only hone their leadership and development skills, but also serve as ambassadors for the St. Louis Give Kids A Smile fall program, which will provide comprehensive care to about 650 underserved children.

Ambassadors may be assigned to serve as clinic escorts, or in areas such as check-in/check-out, sterilization, photography, triage, education, entertainment and more.

Up to 10 travel grants will be awarded. State and local dental societies and community-based organizations providing oral health care for underserved children during GKAS will be considered. Applicants must reside within the U.S. 50 states.

For more information, email