Literacy Council of Bowen and Miller Counties



From the #deltadentalARFoundation: Quick: What does a literacy council do? 

Teach adults how to read and write, perhaps? Or teach English as a second language?

How about performing dental health evaluations?

The  Literacy Council of Bowie & Miller Counties, Inc., in Texarkana launched just such a project thanks to a 2023 #communitygrant from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation. The funding enables a newly hired case manager to assess the dental crises of county residents on parole or probation.

Helping people regain a healthy smile is a logical expansion of programs offered by the Council. Since its inception almost 40 years ago, it has branched out from reading and writing assistance to teaching health and wellness literacy, digital, information and financial literacy and workforce skills. In 2022, it joined the 100 Families Initiative as part of a network of partner organizations providing wrap-around services to families in crisis.

And this year, “Smiles for Stability” aims to lay the foundation of dental wellness for individuals reintegrating into society, explains Kristina Jones, the 100 Families County Coordinator.

She says almost 85 percent suffer from poor dental health, such as cavities, tooth loss or gum disease. Yet trying to find a dentist and the means to pay for dental treatments can be overwhelming.

That’s where the case worker comes in.

She meets her clients once a week, surveys their dental health, helps them sign up for insurance and refers them to a dentist as needed.

"Smiles for Stability" aims to benefit 150 individuals, including family members, this year.

The program may have an additional, community-wide impact. Individuals whose dental, physical and mental health needs are met are more likely to find employment, maintain stable housing and avoid future involvement in the criminal justice system. That, in turn, can help reduce recidivism rates and promote public safety.

From healthy smiles to public safety—how awe-inspiring is that?

Is your organization making a difference in your community? Perhaps we can support your oral health project. Check out our funding opportunities here.


This story was first published on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Literacy Council of Bowen and Miller Counties Infographic


Literacy Council of Bowen and Miller Counties


Literacy Council of Bowen and Miller Counties

Literacy Council of Bowen and Miller Counties