Benco Family Foundation Schedules Trio of Lessons in a Lunchbox Events for Chicago Schools

Benco Dental’s charitable arm will join the Children’s Oral Health Institute in hosting Lessons in a Lunchbox programs during the 2020 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in celebration, the Benco Family Foundation, together with the Children’s Oral Health Institute, plans to build on their strong relationship with Chicago Public Schools to host three Lessons in a Lunchbox events during this year’s Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

Last year, the foundation gifted toothbrushes to every single student, from pre-K to elementary, in all 469 Chicago public schools, so that over 150,000 smiles could have the one basic essential for healthy teeth—something most people take for granted, but that a shocking number of children go without. However, you can’t just put a toothbrush in a child’s hand and walk away. That’s where Lessons in a Lunchbox: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks comes in. This national oral health and nutrition program reaches underserved elementary school children by offering an ingeniously-shaped holder — a carrot — packaged in a bright orange lunchbox with all the supplies needed for healthy teeth.

This year, the two organizations will present Lessons In A Lunchbox at the following schools:

  • Jackie Robinson Elementary School on Wednesday, 2/19, at 1 p.m., 4225 S. Lake Park Avenue. (773) 535-1777.
  • John Charles Haines Elementary School on Thursday, 2/20, at 1 p.m., 247 West 23rd Place. (773) 534-9200.
  • Oscar DePriest Elementary School on Friday, 2/21, at 1 p.m., 139 S Parkside Avenue.  (773) 534-6800.

Benco Family Foundation representatives will be on hand for the event at John Charles Haines Elementary, and invite members of the media to also attend.

Dr. Winifred J. Booker created Lessons in a Lunchbox over two decades ago and has worked to expand its adoption in her larger role as CEO of the Children’s Oral Health Institute. The program’s cornerstone is the ingeniously crafted, carrot-shaped carrying case designed to teach elementary school children the importance of dental hygiene with information in English, Spanish, and braille. Before children receive their bright lunchboxes of treasures (a plastic carrot filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup) the group follows a prepared lesson plan and enjoys short films about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

The program’s bright orange lunchboxes each contain a plastic carrot complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup.

“As access to care continues to be a challenge for the underserved, prevention is a more important part of our strategy than ever before. Lessons in a Lunchbox makes teaching good oral healthcare and nutrition habits at an early age fun and impactful. The program is valuable to every single student it touches because it helps build better educated and healthier communities.”

Rebecca Binder, Executive Director of the Benco Family Foundation.

Since 2015, the Benco Family Foundation has been helping people across the globe through toothbrush donations with its Buy-One-Give-One program. For every PRO-SYS brand adult tapered or antimicrobial toothbrush purchased, the philanthropic arm of America’s largest family-owned dental distributor donates a toothbrush to someone in need. But the Benco Family Foundation is about much more than toothbrushes. Dedicated to improving the dental health and quality of life in its local communities and around the world, it supports over 100 organizations, delivering innovative dental health solutions through monetary donations, as well as free product, to support dental missions, clinics and organizations. The foundation continually reviews new opportunities to underwrite oral health solutions and community resources that are innovative, sustainable, measurable and impactful.

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental Drives Dentistry Forward℠ through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Company firsts include CenterPoint design/equipment superstores, OneVisit™ open architecture CAD/CAM, Painless® electronic ordering and automated supply management. Independent since founded by Ben Cohen in 1930, Benco has grown to become the country’s largest family-owned dental distributor. Over 1,400 dedicated associates serve customers at locations coast-to-coast including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco is one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for three consecutive years, a NAFE Top Company for Executive Women for two consecutive years, and among Pennsylvania Best Places to Work® for 12 of 14 prior years.
For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

How can you ‘Carrot Your Smile Everywhere You Travel™’?

Dr. Winifred J. Booker, CEO of the Children’s Oral Health Institute, travels to elementary school around the U.S. from Owings Mills, Maryland to share a message and a bright orange lunchbox concept that she created more than 20 years ago.

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Dr. Winifred Booker, explains the Lessons in a Lunchbox concept to second and third-grade students in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Photo Eric Larsen/Benco Dental)

“Lessons in a Lunchbox teaches the child independence; therefore, it provides her or him the ability to brush and floss using the dental kit, the carrot case, and the lunchbox,” Dr. Booker said, referencing the program she developed which features around an ingeniously crafted carrying case, designed to teach elementary school children the importance of dental hygiene.

Hear from The Lucy Hobbs Project Humanitarian Award winner, Dr. Booker:

Now, everyone can order an important piece of the lunchbox that is crafted by Dr. Booker’s company Brushtime Enterprises: Dental Care in a Carrot®.

It’s uniquely designed to include a universal toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, plastic mirror, and instructions on proper flossing, and brushing in one travel case. The screw-on carrot case top doubles as the perfect rinse cup.

The vertical open-and-close feature (shown below) allows this dishwasher safe travel mate to be easily wipe or rinsed free of debris.  This same feature also allows Dental Care in a Carrot case to stand freely on a sink or counter top when not in use.

Replace the contents with the original products. Most any brand with similar travel size dimensions will easily fit inside of the carrot case

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This fun travel ensemble can be used by children and adults to “Carrot Your Smile Everywhere You Travel™,” according to Brushtime Enterprises, Inc.

Braille ligands are located on the outside of the case to aide individuals with sight loss.

What’s included?

 • Toothbrush • Toothpaste • Dental Floss • Plastic Mirror • Rinse Cup • Instructions

Interested in ordering?

Visit: Click here.

What are the benefits?

The carrot case can:

• Travel anywhere — plane, train, cruise liner, car, bus

• Go to school, or work

• Freely stand on a sink or counter top or a tree stump when not in use

• Easily be wiped and rinsed out unlike so many toothbrush cases designs

• Be used by both adults and youth on the go

• Be an empowering oral hygiene aide for the differently-abled individuals, and includes braille ligands

• Conveniently be placed inside of a gym bag, pocketbook, desk drawer, briefcase, or backpack

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The Benco Family Foundation will donate PRO-SYS® toothbrushes to every Chicago Public School elementary student in celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month as well as contribute an additional 40,000 toothbrushes to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry community service programs. With these contributions, the Benco Family Foundation will top 1 […]

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In her Letter to the Editor aligned with National Children’s Dental Health Month, Julie Cleary, a professor of Dental Health Programs at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania offered reminders of the responsibility we all share: oral health care of children. She recalls 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, a Maryland boy whose untreated cavity led to a fatal brain infection in […]