Iowa schools have the opportunity to receive a new water bottle filling station through the Rethink Your Drink program, funded by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. Selected schools will have an old drinking fountain replaced with a new Elkay water bottle filling station.

Priority will be given to schools that have one or fewer water bottle filling stations in their building and schools that have a free and reduced-price lunch status of 50 percent or greater.

In addition, the foundation is looking to install outdoor water filling stations in Iowa communities along trails and in public parks. Priority will be given to community projects with construction timelines that are best aligned with requirements needed for installation.

Applications for this program will close on March 1.

“We know healthy smiles and healthy lives are closely connected and that is why we invest in the Rethink Your Drink program,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Whether we’re in the classroom or being active in our community, staying hydrated is key to supporting our health.”

"Water is an important contributor to good oral and overall health,” said Melissa Walker, Iowa Department of Education’s nurse consultant. “However, ensuring students are hydrated can be a challenge. More than 50 percent of children and teens in the U.S. are not properly hydrated during the school day, which can impact learning and energy levels. Water bottle filling stations allow students to keep a filled reusable water bottle within reach throughout the day.”

Since 2017, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has donated more than $1.97 Million to 393 schools throughout Iowa for the Rethink Your Drink program impacting more than 193,000 students and staff.

The Rethink Your Drink program is funded by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and supported by the Iowa Department of Health & Human Services, Iowa Public Health Association, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative and Central Sales, Inc.

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