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Brookhaven schools to add water bottle refilling stations

The Brookhaven School District voted recently to approve a “Commitment to a Healthy School” initiative, which will provide water bottle refilling stations to students and staff.

The district’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted on the initiative. The addendum will be added to the existing student wellness policy, which includes language citing students and staff will be allowed to carry refillable water bottles on campus and that all new or majorly renovated schools will have water bottle refilling stations installed.

This commitment is part of the Metro Jackson American Heart Association’s larger Water Within Reach effort. The organization aims to pass legislation in 2021 requiring all new or renovated Mississippi schools to provide students with water bottle refilling stations. Brookhaven is the first school district in the state of Mississippi, and in the southeastern region of the U.S., to pass this policy.

“We are pleased to support the important mission of the American Heart Association and to offer our staff and students a healthier learning environment,” said Erin W. Smith, Brookhaven School Board president. “The addition of water bottle refilling stations to Brookhaven schools is a great step closer to ensuring all Mississippi students have access to safe clean drinking water.”

Mississippi ranks number one in the nation for the highest rate of obesity among children ages 10 to 17. Drinking sufficient amounts of water reduces the likelihood of children being at an unhealthy weight.

Water bottle filling stations in schools can nearly triple how much water students drink at lunch time. Drinking water can also positively impact children’s cognitive performance, particularly short-term memory.

 

Story by Gracie Byrne