Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announce New H2O On the Go Grant Program
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation today announced the new H2O On the Go grant program to replace existing water fountains with new water bottle-filling stations at Illinois elementary, middle and high schools.
The Foundations are launching this program as part of their initiatives to improve the overall health and well-being of Illinois children. The new water bottle-filling stations are made by Elkay, headquartered in Downers Grove.
Tooth decay, while largely preventable, is the leading chronic infectious disease among children. Choosing water instead of sugary beverages like soda, juice and sports drinks can help keep teeth strong and reduce cavities by almost 25%.1 It can also help combat obesity, increase energy levels and improve 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 who apply and are approved will receive a water bottle-filling station along with reusable water bottles and toothbrushes for students.
“Making it easy for kids to make healthy choices helps instill good health habits,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “This includes making beverage choices for optimal oral health and overall health. By installing water bottle-filling stations in schools across the state, we can reduce students’ sugar intake and encourage them to drink more water.”
“The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is committed to improving the oral health of all children in Illinois,” said Heather Higgins Alderman, the Foundation’s president. “Our vision is, ‘Every child in Illinois grows up healthy.’ We are delighted to partner with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation to encourage children to drink more water, which is a healthy alternative to sugary beverages and will help improve their oral health and overall health.”
In addition to health benefits, the H20 On the Go refillable water stations will help reduce waste and promote conservation efforts.
All Illinois schools are encouraged to apply for the H2O On the Go grant program. Preference will be given to schools that do not already have a water bottle-filling station. Applications will be accepted through Friday, June 12, at deltadentalil.com/h2o-on-the-go.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention