Skip to content

Curious George joins SLACK to promote dental hygiene

April 29, 2024 | By Emilie Jacques

The Student Leadership Advisory Council of the Keweenaw (SLACK) has been working with local elementary schools, Northern Michigan University’s Center for Rural Health and the one and only Curious George, to bring dental hygiene education to almost 500 children in the Copper Country.

Students in SLACK started working on the oral hygiene project at the beginning of 2024, planning in the new year and carrying out some of the first reading sessions and tooth-brushing demonstrations in early spring. The bulk of reading sessions took place during March, which has been nationally recognized as Reading Month, to get people, and especially kids, excited about reading.SLACK Oral Health Kit 1x1

This project came about when Northern Michigan University’s Center for Rural Health reached out to SLACK to help carry out the groundwork, such as scheduling, distributing books and oral hygiene products and reading "Curious George Goes to the Dentist" to elementary students.

“It has been really fun seeing all the kids having fun as they learn,” said Henry Lounibos, a SLACK student at Houghton High School.

Oral hygiene is a key part of long-term health that can often be overlooked in early schooling. Long-term good oral hygiene can help prevent diabetes and heart disease. As part of the project, NMU’s Center for Rural Health equipped SLACK with tools like dental models and taught them how to properly instruct kids on how to brush their teeth.

“There are certain questions we have to ask them and know the answers to,” explained Lounibos. “I’ve even learned some things myself.”

Promoting oral health is part of SLACK’s larger goals of engaging students in philanthropy and community service, while also giving the students a variety of opportunities to develop leadership and organizational skills. To learn more about the work that SLACK students do in the Copper Country, visit

Emilie Jacques

Emilie Jacques

"I graduated from Michigan Tech with a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Communication Studies, and a minor in Media Production. I love the outdoors and DnD." You can reach Emilie at