The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

WOW Bus Helps Titans Smile Brighter

The+WOW+bus+will+provide+T.C.+students+with+dental+services+for+a+low+cost.
The WOW bus will provide T.C. students with dental services for a low cost.

Sadie Finn and Celeste Amron

The WOW Bus (Wellness on Wheels) provides dental services to ACPS students. In past years, the bus has only been servicing elementary students from seven schools across the district.  “For the first time it’s providing dental care for the high school kids,” said International Academy Social Worker Josefina Rodrigo.

Licensed dental professionals from Neighborhood Health give Alexandria students both preventative care, such as cleanings, fluoride treatments, and x-rays, and restorative care, such as fillings, extractions, and root canals. Administrator for Instruction Kristen McInerney said that it is important to provide “preventative work rather than waiting until [students] are in pain… Hopefully, if the preventative is done there is no need for the restorative.”

The WOW Bus also educates kids on how to care for their teeth. This knowledge helps kids to practice better habits, which in turn improve their dental hygiene.

This care is given “based on income, so it will be accessible to students who may not have had dental work before,” Rodrigo said. Additionally, since the WOW Bus will be parked outside of T.C., “students will not have to miss too much class, miss work, or have their parents miss work to go to appointments,” said McInerney. 

According to a 2012 study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, poor dental hygiene negatively affects attendance and subsequently school performance. “Sometimes I have kids that come to me because their tooth is hurting,” said Rodrigo. “If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know that it is the only thing you can focus on in the moment.” Poor dental hygiene distracts students from school and can even cause them to skip school because they are in pain. “We hope that this service helps improve attendance for students who need care,” said McInerney.

International Academy (IA) students were given tours of the WOW Bus on January 10 and 11. Students were given informative flyers and applications for services. Once applications are completed and processed, the bus will begin to come to T.C. to provide selected students for services. Although only IA students toured the bus, it will soon be available to all T.C. students in need.

“It’s finally here!” said Principal Peter Balas. Balas has been working towards bringing the bus to T.C. after seeing its positive effects at Mt. Vernon Elementary where he was principal for five years. “The WOW bus was a wonderful way to help students who did not have access to proper dental care,” said Balas.

The PTA and ACPS have been trying to get the WOW bus to visit T.C. for a year. The bus requires a special outlet that needed to be installed at T.C. before it could come. The $5,000 that it cost to install the outlet was donated anonymously through the PTA.

Students interested in getting services from the WOW bus should see their academy social worker for an application.

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WOW Bus Helps Titans Smile Brighter