Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Now Accepting 2022 Applications for H2O On the Go

By Lora Vitek on April 5, 2022 in In the Community


H2O Water bottle filling station and white female middle school student filling up a water bottle

Grant Program Provides Water Bottle-Filling Stations to Illinois Schools

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation are accepting 2022 applications for their annual H2O On the Go grant program. This program replaces existing water fountains with new water bottle-filling stations at elementary, middle and high schools throughout Illinois.

All elementary, middle and high schools in Illinois are eligible and encouraged to apply for the H2O On the Go grant program. Preference is given to schools that do not already have a water bottle-filling station. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m., May 6, 2022 at deltadentalil.com/h2o-on-the-go.

The Foundations launched the H2O On the Go program in 2020 as part of their shared initiatives to improve the overall health and well-being of Illinois children. The new water bottle-filling stations are made by Downers Grove-based Elkay.

Tooth decay, although mostly preventable, is the leading chronic infectious disease among children. Choosing water rather than sugary beverages like soda, juice and sports drinks can help keep teeth strong and reduce cavities by almost 25%.1 Water as a beverage choice can also help prevent obesity, boost energy levels and increase students’ cognitive function.    

H2O On the Go will make it easier for Illinois students to have access to drinking water throughout the day and choose water over other beverages. Schools that apply and are approved will receive a water bottle-filling station, along with reusable water bottles and toothbrushes for students.

In addition to encouraging students to drink more water, H2O On the Go reduces waste and promotes conservation efforts. The water bottle-filling stations are also touch-free, which decreases germ exchange.

Through our H2O On the Go program, we hope to encourage healthy habits. By installing water bottle filling stations in schools, we’ll improve access to water, decrease the consumption of sugary beverages and lessen the overall risk of tooth decay amongst these students.

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) remains committed to improving the oral health of Illinois children. Partnering with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation to encourage drinking water through the H20 On the Go program helps ILCHF advance their vision of 'Every child in Illinois grows up healthy' by helping children replace sugary beverages with healthy drinking water for better oral health and overall health.

In the first two years of the H20 On the Go program, a total of 140 Illinois schools received a water bottle-filling station. To review past recipients or to apply for the H2O On the Go program, visit deltadentalil.com/h2o-on-the-go.

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1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention