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LPSS Inspires State Action With Water Bottle Filling Station Initiative

“Access to water is an essential part of creating a healthy school environment that sets children up for a healthy future."

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 2:26 PM

As part of the Louisiana Healthy Communities (LHC) grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lafayette Parish has been working with 11 middle and high schools to identify ways to improve overall student wellness. The five-year grant provides $10,000 per year to the district, which was chosen along with five others in the state to participate in the program. Using funds from the grant, LPSS will be purchasing water bottle filling stations for a total of 11 schools over the next two years. This year, the schools slated to receive stations are Northside High School, Lafayette High School, Comeaux High School, Broussard Middle School and Scott Middle
School. The district will cover the cost of installing the stations and handling plumbing issues. The idea to install the water filling stations, which are a more hygienic alternative to traditional “bubbler” water fountains, came from a local teacher involved in the LHC grant. In addition to improved safety, the stations make it easy for students to fill their own bottles and encourage them to drink more water — without the waste of disposable plastic bottles. “The School Health Leader from each participating school has been instrumental in helping to identify areas of strength and weakness in regards to overall wellness at each grant school,” says Nutrition Program Coordinator Celeste Finney. As the district’s point of contact for the grant, she says she’s proud to see their hard work “come
to fruition in a way that can help make their students’ school day more comfortable, hygienic and hydrated.” Upon learning of the LPSS plan for adding water filling stations, State Representative Vincent Pierre was inspired to introduce a resolution during the recent Legislative session (HR-15) that calls upon the Louisiana Department of Education and the state Uniform Construction Code Council to “identify solutions and resources necessary to install water bottle filling stations during new construction and renovation projects at public and secondary schools.” The text of Pierre’s resolution cites the importance of water consumption for student’s cognitive
performance and overall health. "I introduced HR15 in order to encourage study and consideration at the state level about how we can better incorporate water filling stations in new school constructions moving forward,” said Representative Pierre. “Access to water is an essential part of creating a healthy school environment that sets children up for a healthy future."

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