The Northwest Arkansas office of the American Heart Association – in conjunction with Healthy Active Arkansas, RB, the Beaver Water District and Tyson Foods – dedicated 21 new “H2O and GO” water bottle filling stations in seven Springdale schools over the course of two days, Nov. 5 and Nov. 8. Springdale schools were chosen for the water bottle filling stations based on zip codes with the greatest need.

H2O and GO stations provide schoolchildren with more access to free, clean drinking water, no matter where they live, what school they attend or what grade they are in. In Northwest Arkansas, that water is sourced from Beaver Lake and made clean to drink by Beaver Water District. Cities then supply water to the schools.

Having access to a hydration station means schoolchildren can fill water bottles to take to class, rather than the routine three-second drink they get from a fountain with long lines, especially after P.E. Reducing sugary-beverage consumption by promoting proper hydration is one way the local AHA office and its allies are working to battle the region’s rising number of children who are at an unhealthy weight.