Bye-bye drinking fountains, hello bottle refilling stations

Alia Elsholz, a kindergartner at Clear Lake Elementary and member of the school's Green Team, takes a sip from one of the school's existing drinking fountains. Photo by Elise Shire.
Alia Elsholz, a kindergartner at Clear Lake Elementary and member of the school’s Green Team, takes a sip from one of the school’s existing drinking fountains. Photo by Elise Shire.

It’s about to be even easier for students and staff at Oxford’s elementary and middle schools to feel the numerous health benefits of drinking water throughout the day rather than sugary drinks.

Oxford Schools will be receiving 18 water bottle refill stations through Oakland County, thanks to a recently launched program by the Board of Commissioners.

The units are being provided to public and charter schools county-wide by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners as part of the Oakland County Drinking Water Station Program, which aims to give students easy access to drinking water.

In addition to encouraging healthy hydration habits, the initiative also aims to teach students eco-friendly methods of water consumption and reduce plastic water bottle waste.

All charter and public schools with students aged 12 and under were eligible to apply.

Three will be installed at each Oxford Elementary, Daniel Axford Elementary, Clear Lake Elementary, Lakeville Elementary, Leonard Elementary and Oxford Middle School.

The county will cover the cost of the units and shipping, while districts will pay for their installation and maintenance.

Oakland County spent more than $500,000 in total to purchase and ship 682 of these units to seven charter schools and 29 public school districts across the county.

“These will allow kids to fill up their water bottles a lot easier than they could with the traditional drinking fountains. From a health standpoint, that will also help a lot of students to start drinking the recommended amount of water every day,” said county commissioner Mike Spisz (R-Oxford).

The stations are equipped with water filters and consist of a water fountain attached to a bottle filling station.

The refill stations are expected to be delivered to the district in June 2018, before the next school year, according to Spisz.

“We really appreciate Oakland County and Mike Spisz for helping us to obtain these 18 units,” said Superintendent Tim Throne. “That’s a cost that we now don’t have to take out of our district budget. It really helps us in our ongoing maintenance efforts and will help us to provide quality drinking water to our students.”

For more information on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and its programs, visit oakgov.com/boc.

 

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