There are a number of great supports for schools to access when messaging the importance of healthy living to students of all ages and at last Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Superintendent of Education Marcy Bell shared partnerships which have led to the implementation of water bottle refilling stations at over thirty Algoma District School Board (ADSB) schools.
Algoma District School Board is a partner in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge and one of the important themes was “Water Does Wonders”. This theme encourages kids and families to reach for water when thirsty instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. With assistance from Healthy Kids Community Challenge Sault Ste. Marie, Healthy Kids Community Challenge North Channel, ADSB and select School Councils, thirty-two water bottle refilling stations have been purchased for use throughout the board. Units are or will soon be situated in schools throughout Sault Ste Marie, Central Algoma and Blind River.
Sip Smart Ontario is another great support for schools. It is an educational program that helps teach children in grades 3 to 7 about sugary drinks and about making healthy drink choices. Teachers have been able to turn to Sip Smart to access great conversation starters and lessons as they introduced the refilling stations in their schools.
The refilling stations have proven to be a huge success. Students are eager to use them filling either one water bottle over and over or bringing in reusable water bottles. This has translated into an incredible number of water bottles saved to date. For instance, Central Algoma Elementary School, which is a JK-6 school, had a unit installed in January 2016. To date they have saved 25,054 plastic bottles. Korah Collegiate has saved 65,493 plastic bottles to date! It is anticipated that over time the number of water bottles saved will be in the tens of thousands.
Superintendent Bell shared that it is exciting to have these water bottle refilling stations in place as they help Algoma District School Board to continue supporting healthy children and healthy environments.