- Access to Drinking Water in Schools
- Prepare for a Crisis
- New Study: Increasing Physical Activity through Recess
- Reminder: Register a Kick Butts Day Event, and Get on the Map!

Access to Drinking Water in Schools

Ensuring that students have access to safe, free drinking water throughout the school day is one strategy that schools can use to create a school environment that supports health and learning. This strategy is part of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.

Providing access to drinking water gives students a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. It helps to increase students’ overall water consumption, maintain hydration, and reduce energy intake if substituted for sugar-sweetened beverages.1-3 Adequate hydration also may improve cognitive function in children and adolescents.4-8 Drinking water, if fluoridated, also plays a role in preventing dental caries (cavities).

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires that schools participating in the National School Lunch Program make free water available to students during lunch meal times in locations where meals are served. In addition to these new requirements, schools should use a variety of strategies to ensure that students have access to free drinking water throughout the entire school day, including:
• Ensuring that water fountains are clean and properly maintained
• Providing access to water fountains, dispensers, and hydration stations throughout the school
• Allowing students to have water bottles in class or to go to the water fountain if they need to drink water

Prepare for a Crisis

The recent school shooting in Ohio is a reminder to schools of the importance of preparing for a crisis. The NEA School Crisis Guide has resources on preparing for, reacting to, and responding to a crisis. The guide stresses the importance of engaging all members of the school community in planning and responding to these types of events.

New Study: Increasing Physical Activity through Recess

A new study released by Active Living Research and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reminds us of the important contribution recess can provide in helping children be more physically active. It points out that children can accumulate up to 40% of their total daily physical activity during recess.

The study points out four ways to increase children's activity levels at recess: 1) provide playground equipment like balls, bean bags, hoops etc.; 2) provide playground "play activators" who organize games, teach rules and encourage participation; 3) paint playground surfaces for recreational games; and 4) designate space for "activity zones" for active play.
Increasing Physical Activity During Recess Study.

Reminder: Register a Kick Butts Day Event, and Get on the Map!

According to a recent blog post from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, with just five weeks to go before Kick Butts Day, more than 700 events around the country and on military bases overseas already are registered for a day of activism against Big Tobacco. Event organizers can get started by downloading a Kick Butts Day activity guide and registering their event on the KBD website. By registering, you’ll get support in planning and promoting KBD events, and be recognized alongside other KBD events taking place across the country. So, get registered – and get on the map!

Mar. 2012