Ninety Iowa Schools Will Receive Water Bottle Filling Stations from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Rethink Your Drink Program
It’s more important than ever for Iowa school students and staff to have touch-free access to fill their water bottles. Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation announced 90 more Iowa schools will receive a free Elkay water bottle filling station through the Rethink Your Drink program, representing an investment of $290,300. Over the past five years, the Foundation and Rethink Your Drink partners have provided 375 filling stations, impacting 184,400 students and staff for a total investment of $1,637,010.
“As many schools were forced to shut off water fountains due to COVID-19 precautions, water bottle filling stations became an essential hydration tool,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO, Delta Dental of Iowa. “Rethink Your Drink provides a visible and meaningful way to directly impact the oral and overall health of Iowans. Over the last five years, this program has installed a total of 375 water filling stations in schools across Iowa with a goal to ensure every school has at least one filling station in their building.”
More than 50 percent of children and teens in the U.S. do not get enough water during the school day, which can impact learning and energy levels. The new water bottle filling stations, which replace older water fountains, make drinking water more accessible for students and staff to stay hydrated with drinking water throughout the school day.
"Iowa schools have worked hard to keep students and staff as safe as possible during COVID-19 and one way is reducing access to frequently touched surfaces like water fountains,” said Melissa Walker, school nurse consultant, Iowa Department of Education. “The touchless water filling stations are the perfect solution to ensuring access to drinking water and staying hydrated throughout the day. Since this is National Drinking Water Week, it’s a great reminder of the importance of reaching for water to quench thirst over sugary or caffeinated drinks.”
Priority is given to schools with a higher percentage of free and reduced lunches in the school district and buildings that did not already have a water bottle filling station. The Rethink Your Drink program is funded by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and supported by the Healthiest State Initiative, Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Nutrition Physical Activity, Iowa Public Health Association, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department on Aging and In Depth Marketing.
Click here to see a complete list of the 90 schools added to the Rethink Your Drink program in 2021.