86 Illinois schools to receive new water bottle-filling stations
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation award H20 On the Go grants
Eighty-six Illinois schools will receive new water bottle-filling stations to encourage students to drink more water as part of H2O On the Go, a new grant program by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation.
H2O On the Go allows for easier access to drinking water for Illinois students while at school and helps encourage them to choose water instead of sugary beverages such as soda, juice and sports drinks. Illinois elementary, middle and high schools selected for this program will have existing water fountains replaced with new water bottle-filling stations. The schools will also receive toothbrushes and reusable water bottles for their students.
Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Executive Director Lora Vitek said through the H20 On the Go program, the Foundation is fulfilling its mission to improve the overall health of Illinois children by making drinking water more accessible to students throughout the state. She added the new water bottle-filling stations will help students stay hydrated and cut back on their sugar consumption, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
The Foundations launched the program earlier this year as part of a shared initiative to improve the overall health and well-being of Illinois children. The new water bottle-filling stations are supplied by Elkay, based in Downers Grove. Besides the notable health benefits, the H20 On the Go refillable water stations help reduce waste and promote conservation efforts.
Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation President Heather Higgins Alderman said their Foundation is happy to see the installation of these water bottle-filling stations in many of the state’s schools, showcasing their continual effort to also improve the oral and overall health of Illinois children. She said their Foundation is glad to partner with the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation for this program to encourage children to drink more water and have it readily available for them at school as a healthy beverage choice.
Tooth decay, while largely preventable, is the most chronic infectious disease among children. Drinking water rather than unhealthy beverages 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. The new water bottle-filling stations are also touch-free, which lowers the chance of germ exchange.
See a full list of Illinois schools selected for the H20 On the Go program here.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention