70 Illinois Schools to Receive New Water Bottle-Filling Stations
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation award 2023 H20 On the Go grants
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Sept. 6, 2023) – Seventy Illinois schools will receive new water bottle-filling stations as part of the H2O On the Go grant program, an initiative created by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to encourage students to drink more water. Illinois elementary, middle, and high schools selected statewide for this program will have existing water fountains replaced with new water bottle-filling stations. Additionally, students will receive toothbrushes and reusable water bottles.
H2O On the Go provides greater access to fluoridated drinking water for Illinois students and encourages them to choose water instead of sugary beverages like soda, juice, and sports drinks. Drinking fluoridated water strengthens teeth and can reduce cavities by nearly 25%.1 According to Delta Dental of Illinois’ 2022 Children’s Oral Health Survey, 62% of Illinois parents reported that their child currently has or has experienced a dental issue, the most common being cavities. A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that increasing water accessibility for children had a direct correlation with improved hydration and overall health.2 Drinking fluoridated water also enhances energy, improves attention spans, and facilitates learning.
“Since the program began in 2020, H2O On the Go has expanded access to clean drinking water in nearly 300 Illinois schools,” says Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “We’re proud of the program and partnership with the Illinois Children’s Foundation.”
“We are thrilled with the program’s impact on thousands of Illinois students,” says Heather Higgins Alderman, Illinois Children’s Foundation President & CEO. “Expanding access to clean water not only encourages healthier choices but also enhances overall well-being in the state.”
In addition to providing access to drinking water, the water bottle-filling stations are certified to reduce lead and other harmful contaminants from water, as well as help reduce waste and promote conservation efforts.
See a full list of Illinois schools selected for this year’s H2O 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 $30 million to programs
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/index.html
2American Academy of Pediatrics, https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/doi/10.1542/peds.2022-060021/193271/Effectiveness-of-a-School-Drinking-Water-Promotion?autologincheck=redirected