Wellness Committee grant leads to water refilling stations at MTHS

The Edmonds School District’s (ESD) Wellness Committee recently received a total of $132,600 from the Next Generation Initiative through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) Healthy Kids-Healthy Schools grant.

ESD received the grant to install a water bottle filling station in all of the 34 schools.

“[The project] started in the late fall of 2015, the grant had to be submitted by the middle of February of [2016],” according to the Food Service Director for the Wellness Committee, Barbara Lloyd.

In order to receive the grant, the Wellness Committee had to provide information on the project and the estimated budget, as well as assurance from the school board that the money would be spent correctly.

“We could have applied for some other things too, but… Drinking water is important, [as well as] reducing the amount of plastic bottles that are used,” Lloyd said. “We have a water bottle filling station here, at the administrative center and we thought it would be a good thing for every school to have one.”

The state legislature set aside $5 million for the Healthy Kids-Healthy Schools grant and the money is distributed through OSPI and focused on three main categories; nutrition, physical activity/education and the access to any appeal of water, that being the water bottle filling stations.

While the  Wellness Committee had asked for approximately $157,600 total, schools are only able to apply for up to $200,000 from the Healthy Kids Healthy Schools grant. ESD requested funding for both the water bottle filling stations and equipment for the districts P.E. classes, but only received money for the water bottle filling stations, according to Lloyd.

Lloyd said that the water bottle filling stations are equally important toward the way students drink water, the way it will benefit their health and the overall environment.

“Water is an essential nutrient, it’s healthy for kids to drink and we need to reduce the waste that’s going in the landfill from the number of plastic bottles that are in use,” Lloyd said.
The Wellness Committee’s deadline to install the water bottle filling stations in the schools is June of 2017.