67 Illinois schools to receive new water bottle-filling stations
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation award 2022 H20 On the Go grants
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (October 20, 2022) – Sixty-seven Illinois schools will receive new water bottle-filling stations to encourage students to drink more water as part of the third round of H2O On the Go funding, a grant program created by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation.
H2O On the Go provides greater access to drinking water for Illinois students and encourages them to choose water instead of sugary beverages like soda, juice and sports drinks. This will help Illinois parents, too, as they can trust their child will be well hydrated throughout the day when sent with a reusable water bottle.
Illinois elementary, middle and high schools statewide selected for this program will have existing water fountains replaced with the new water bottle-filling stations. The schools will also receive toothbrushes and reusable water bottles for their students as part of the program.
Tooth decay – though mostly preventable – is the leading chronic disease among children. This year, 62% of Illinois parents reported that their child currently has or has experienced a dental issue, the most common being cavities.1 Water consumption can help lessen tooth decay, but can also help reduce obesity, increase energy levels and improve students’ attention span and ability to learn.
“Through the H20 On the Go program, we make it easier for Illinois students to drink water in an effort to improve their oral and overall health,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “The new filling stations will not only help students stay hydrated, but they’ll lessen their chance of tooth decay.”
The Foundations launched the program in 2020, and the continuation of the H2O On the Go program through this year brings the total to 208 Illinois schools that have or will receive water bottle-filling stations supplied by Zurn Elkay Water Solutions and funded by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. Besides providing healthy drinking water, the water bottle-filling stations also help reduce waste and promote conservation efforts.
“We are so excited to continue this program and install these water bottle-filling stations in schools across Illinois,” said Heather Higgins Alderman, the Illinois Children’s Foundation president & CEO. “Encouraging children to drink more water and making it more accessible to do so helps better overall health and well-being.”
See a full list of Illinois schools selected for the H20 On the Go program here: www.deltadentalil.com/h2o-on-the-go-recipients.
About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
Delta Dental is the national dental benefits leader covering 1 in 3 Americans who have dental coverage. Delta Dental of Illinois is one of 39 member companies that make up the national Delta Dental system. Based in Naperville, Illinois, Delta Dental of Illinois provides dental benefit programs to more than 6,000 Illinois companies and covers 2 million individuals, employees and family members nationwide. Delta Dental of Illinois is committed to improving oral health in our community and furthers this commitment through the work of its 501(c)(3) charitable arm, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.
1 Delta Dental of Illinois – Illinois Children’s Oral Health Survey 2022