Richland orthodontist donates more than $50,000 to local schools - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland orthodontist donates more than $50,000 to local schools

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- No one likes wearing braces, but what if fixing your teeth can help fix your school's budget short falls.

Instead of spending  money on marketing and advertising, Scott Ostler thought why not do both by giving back to the kids that come in and see him.  So he started the partners in education program a year and half ago.

"I heard about the idea from an orthodontist in Georgia and I thought that was really cool.  So I thought why not? It's kind of a feel good thing.  It helps a community out and I grew up here, my kids all go to school here. I graduated from school here and they're still going to school. So its just a great fit," says Ostler.

Every time a student becomes a patient, that child's school gets a check for one hundred dollars.

Last school year, he donated more than $33,800 dollars to schools in the Tri-Cities and even as far as Hermiston and Burbank.

This  school year, since September they've already given back more than $24,000.

The money goes to PTA and PTO organizations to decide how to spend it.  It helped Enterprise Middle School buy archery equipment for its new program.

Richland schools have benefited the most from the Partners in  Education program, getting more than $10,500 dollars from the orthodontist this school year. Pasco Schools received $3,500 and Kennewick $3,300, Prosser $1,300.

Ostler says he'll even donate to a school or charity for an adult patient.