Hundreds of second graders across Central Arkansas will continue learning how to read this summer while
also learning about their teeth, thanks to a generous donation by Delta Dental of Arkansas.
Executive Director Charlie Conklin said he is very appreciative of the donation of more than 400 books as
that helped stretch the reach of AR Kids Read’s summer book distribution.
“We hope that by providing these books to the students they will keep reading this summer and that will
help combat the learning that research tells us is lost each summer,” Conklin said. “Generosity by
companies such as Delta Dental helps make initiatives like this possible,” he added.
According to Kelly Caldwell, manager of communications and the Delta Dental Arkansas Foundation,
being involved with AR Kids Read is a natural fit for Delta Dental. “Every year, students miss more than
51 million school hours as a result of dental problems, showing that dental disease can have an adverse
effect on academic success,” Caldwell said.
In addition to Delta Dental’s recent contribution of books, the company has also been a longtime sponsor
and partner of AR Kids Read. “Because good dental health and education go hand-in-hand, Delta Dental
is proud to support AR Kids Read,” Caldwell added.
“We are so thankful for Delta Dental’s continued commitment of tutors who spend one hour a week
working with students at Sherwood Elementary, in addition to its financial support,” said Conklin.
“Without the support of businesses like Delta Dental, AR Kids Read could not continue its work in
the community,” he added.
Since it began supporting AR Kids Read, Delta Dental has contributed $12,500 and more than 30 tutors.
“By providing tutors, financial contributions, and donating dental-themed books, we hope to help students
improve their reading skills and learn about the importance of taking care of their smile,” Caldwell said.