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September 24, 2013 > Water bottle filling station comes to Tennyson High

Water bottle filling station comes to Tennyson High

Submitted By Meghan Laslocky

Students at Tennyson High School in Hayward participated in the unveiling of a new water bottle filling station at their school on September 18 - the culmination of a student-led initiative to ensure access to filtered water on campus.

Last year, students on TennysonÕs Wellness Council identified a need in their school for clean, attractive, and vandal-resistant water stations in order to encourage students to stay hydrated. In an effort to receive approval and funding of the project, students researched the effects of dehydration on learning and brain function and surveyed Tennyson water fountains. When they presented their findings to the schoolÕs site-based decision making body, their proposal to purchase a water bottle filling station was unanimously approved.

ÒIt was so inspiring to see the process unfold,Ó says Tennyson health teacher Megan Milan. ÒThe students showed me what a determined group of young people can do to solve a problem. And, Tennyson students will do better in school because of this water station.Ó

Alameda County of EducationÕs (ACOE) Project Eat joined community partners including HealthCorps and Tiburciso Vasquez Health Center on the Wellness Council and supported the students.

Unveiling the water bottle filling station which features filtered, chilled water, two drinking fountains, and a bottle filler that electronically displays how many water bottles have been filled at the station each month, coincides with First Lady Michelle ObamaÕs recent launch of a new campaign to encourage people to drink more water. The national campaign is called ÒDrink UpÓ and focuses on the importance of water consumption to health.

At ACOE, headquarters of the county-wide Project EAT program, the initiative is regarded as consistent with Project EATÕs aim to help end health inequalities in Alameda County schools. ÒDrinking a healthy amount of water every day is just as important to student success as a healthy diet,Ó says ACOE Superintendent Sheila Jordan. ÒWe hope that water bottle filling stations like this increasingly become the norm at our schools.Ó

Students at Tennyson regard the new water station at their school as crucial to their welfare. ÒThe environment at Tennyson is going to change in a good way because students will make wiser and healthier choices,Ó says sophomore Wellness Council Member Priscilla Arango. ÒIt makes me feel proud because I was part of a positive change at Tennyson.Ó

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