DES MOINES, Iowa – “Rethink Your Drink” is opening up applications for schools to receive a new bottle filling station.
Since 2017, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has donated $430,000 to 115 schools across the state for new bottle filling stations.
Des Moines Public Schools received 13 last year. Carver Elementary Principal Jill Burnett Requist said she has seen an increase of interest in students wanting to drink water since the filling station was installed.
“I have seen a significant increase at the noon time. Our food service folks provide us with cups. We fill students' water cups throughout their meal time. I think it makes the kids more conscious about their water intake and making sure they have enough water during the day,” Burnett Requist said.
All schools can apply, but lower income schools with the highest rates of free and reduced lunch programs take priority.
In addition to a new bottle filling station, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation gives every student and faculty member a free water bottle and tooth brush to use.
President of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Jeff Russell said, “More than 50 percent of children and teens in the U.S. are not properly hydrated during the school day, which can impact learning and energy levels.”
Schools also receive an educational kit that has age-appropriate lesson plans on the importance of drinking water.
It is recommended that children have up to two liters of water each day. Adults should have three to four liters of water a day.
“Really of just the importance of having enough. Your body hydrating each day and having enough water each day and how it really helps everything function, including your brain,” Burnett Requist said.
Applications for schools in Iowa to apply for a bottle filling station are April 1st.