Healthy Active Arkansas, in partnership with the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation, will award water bottle filling stations to 20 Arkansas schools as part of the Rethink Your Drink: Choose Water grant program. This program, supported by a grant from the Delta Dental Foundation, is designed to encourage students, teachers and staff to drink water instead of sugary drinks during the school day, which helps support oral health and a healthy weight.

The schools, which were selected through a competitive application process, include:

Arkansas School for the Deaf, Little Rock, Pulaski County
Danville High School, Danville, Yell County
Elkins Primary and Elementary Schools, Elkins, Washington County
East Poinsett County High School, Lepanto, Poinsett County
Glenview Elementary, North Little Rock, Pulaski County
Gurdon High School, Clark County
Jasper School, Newton County
Kingston Public School, Madison County
Lamar Middle School, Johnson County
Lavaca Elementary and Middle School, Sebastian County
Marvell-Elaine High School, Marvell, Phillips County
McGehee Elementary, Desha County
Midland Elementary, Floral, Independence County
Riverside West Elementary, Lake City, Craighead County
SC Tucker Elementary, Danville, Yell County
Valley View Junior High, Jonesboro, Craighead County
Yellville-Summit Elementary, Marion County
Yocum Elementary, El Dorado, Union County

Schools will receive the water bottle filling station this spring, which will replace an existing water fountain, where they will be installed before the start of the 2018-19 school year. Schools that have been awarded a filling station grant will commit to encouraging students and staff to choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages.

Drinking plenty of water, especially if fluoridated, plays an important role in preventing cavities and maintaining oral health. Further, drinking water can help combat obesity, increase energy levels and may increase cognitive functions.

“We are grateful to the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation for allowing us to offer this opportunity to schools, and we look forward to seeing these schools succeed in their efforts,” Troy Wells, Healthy Active Arkansas Board President and CEO of Baptist Health, said.

“Drinking water instead of sugary beverages is an important step everyone, especially our youth, can take to improve their oral health and maintain a healthy weight, and we hope to offer this program again next year,” Wells added.

Healthy Active Arkansas received more than 150 applications from schools around the state. All schools who applied will receive the Healthy Active Arkansas Rethink Your Drink Educational Toolkit, which provides resources and activities that can help schools, worksites and youth groups reduce the number of sugary beverages they drink.

About the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation
The Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation is committed to fulfilling Delta Dental’s mission to improve the oral health of Arkansans. Since 2015, the Foundation has contributed an average of $3 million dollars annually to support oral health programs and initiatives. By investing in education, prevention and treatment, we are working to make Arkansas healthier, one smile at a time. For more oral health news and information, visit www.deltadentalar.com.