Digital Original: Encouraging kids to drink more water is goal of free bottle drive in LR


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – You wouldn’t eat 22 packs of sugar.

So why are most kids drinking it?

High-fructose juices and sodas are just a few of the examples of the drinks loaded with it.

“So the big thing is students aren’t drinking enough water, to begin with,” says Mary Kauffman, the Health Clinic Manager at Stephens Elementary School in Little Rock.

Which is why Kauffman is now collecting clear, plastic reusable water bottles for the entire school and hopes to have them ready to hand out by next week.

“So far we collected about 250 water bottles for about 530 students and our big goal is to collect about 650 so we can include students and staff in this project,” explains Kauffman.

The idea came to her after she noticed kids not drinking enough water.

“It’s important to have kids drinking more water and choosing water over sugar-filled drinks to help keep them thinking clearly and be healthy,” she adds.

Water is a natural resource and does everything from help keep us hydrated to ensuring our vital organs function.

“Sixty percent of our body is made up of water,” explains Kauffman.

She says a grant by Healthy Active Arkansas, called “Rethink Your Drink,” provided grant money for the school to replace traditional water fountains with water bottle filling stations that will now include a spout for students to easily and quickly refill any size bottle.

Kauffman says by providing students with free reusable water bottles she hopes this will encourage more students and school staff to drink water more during the day.

The school has already come up with a water bottle policy for students that will ensure kids are being smart and safe with the new resource.

She adds this project is not only good for the students but has the potential to leave a lasting impact on our environment and the Natural State.

“So not only will it save the environment by becoming more eco-friendly but drinking more water helps reduce obesity, reduce health care costs and just generally helps you feel better,” she says.

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