In late 2017, Skaggs Foundation awarded the elementary school a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant to install two water bottle filling stations on existing fountains in the school. In addition the water bottle filling stations, the foundation gave every student in the elementary their own refillable water bottle.
Students keep their water bottles at their desks so there is never a reason to go thirsty or to leave the classroom for a drink from the fountain.
“I definitely think students are drinking more water and staying better hydrated,” says school nurse Julia Hagler. “We expect these stations are also helping keep sickness down in the school because we no longer have kids who are touching their mouth to the fountain when they get a drink.”
Unexpected benefits can also be seen each day in the lunchroom.
Hagler said fewer children are bringing soda in their lunch and instead, bringing their water bottles from class.
Principal Staci Baker likes that it is also giving kids who eat school lunch another drink option. In the past, their only choices were to drink milk or walk to a water fountain.
“Milk is a great drink choice, however, there are kids who don’t like to drink it,” Baker said. “Those kids would often go without a drink during lunch so it’s great that they have the opportunity to have a bottle of water with them.”
There are numerous benefits to drinking more water including increased concentration and focus, increased energy, promotion of weight loss, aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system.
“Water is also a natural headache remedy,” Hagler said. “Headaches are one of the main complaints of students at school and most student-related headaches are due to dehydration. They play at recess and do not drink enough water to replace what they sweat out.”
Skaggs Legacy Endowment is a restricted endowment fund made possible by a generous gift from CoxHealth in 2013. Since that time, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million to organizations dedicated to improving health and wellness in Stone and Taney counties.