While the weather is heating up outside, staying hydrated is getting easier for many students in Stone and Taney counties. Over the past 18 months, Skaggs Foundation has funded water bottle filling stations and reusable water bottles for eight school districts. The stations make it easier, faster and safer for students and staff to fill water bottles and the stations help reduce the spread of germs compared to using a traditional fountain.
“Water can help with headaches, muscle cramps, soothe sore throats, flush the body of toxins and viruses and much more,” explained Kirbyville School Nurse Kathryn Gubin. “When students come to see me, one of the first things I ask is ‘How much water have you had today?’ Prior to the water bottle filling stations, it was difficult for students to really get enough water throughout the day. Now, they can have water in their classrooms, which helps cut down on interruptions of them asking to go to the fountain.”
Kirbyville’s stations were installed last fall, before flu season.
“Flu season is always a rough time, however, with the water bottle filling stations we can avoid sharing germs,” Gubin said. “With traditional water fountains, individuals often bump their mouth or face on the spout. This can now be avoided. Overall, our attendance was slightly higher than last year.”
Gubin said there are several other benefits they weren’t anticipating, including better tasting water due to the extensive filtration system of the station, as well as money and waste saved by not purchasing bottled water. The stations at Kirbyville also have a counter which reflects the number of plastic bottles saved by using reusable bottles, a number the kids love to see rise.
In addition to Kirbyville, Skaggs Foundation has funded water bottle filling stations and reusable water bottles for Crane, Hurley, Blue Eye, Bradleyville, Galena, Mark Twain and Taneyville.
“We know drinking plenty of water is vitally important to our health,” said Skaggs Foundation President Meghan Connell. “These water bottle filling stations and reusable water bottles make it easier than ever for students to stay hydrated and when they have the choice, we hope these students will choose water over a sugary drink.”
Skaggs Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Stone and Taney counties. Skaggs Foundation funds patient programs, supports Cox Medical Center Branson in capital improvement projects, provides student scholarships, and impacts thousands of lives annually through its community grant making program Skaggs Legacy Endowment.