FAYETTEVILLE, Nov. 1, 2019 — The Northwest Arkansas office of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization, will dedicate 21 new “H2O and GO” water bottle filling stations in seven schools over the course of two days, Nov. 5 and Nov. 8.
The local office of the American Heart Association – in conjunction with RB, Healthy Active Arkansas, the Beaver Water District and Tyson Foods – are working collaboratively to install more water bottle filling stations and give reusable water bottles to Northwest Arkansas schools.
The purpose of the H2O and GO stations is to 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. Water is a basic human need that kids cannot live without. 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.
Washington County school-age children are 38.8 % overweight and/or obese; Benton Co. school-age children are 35.4 % overweight and/or obese, according to statistics from Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s “Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in Arkansas” report.
“Through the AHA’s advocacy work and collaboration with like-minded organizations, we’ve made incremental changes to the amount of time schoolchildren are allowed at recess,” says Deven Daehn, the AHA’s community impact director for the state of Arkansas. “Unfortunately, obesity rates continue to climb to unacceptable levels.”
“We’re working to educate parents and their children about the dangers of living at an unhealthy weight so both generations can work together to build a world of longer, healthier lives,” Daehn adds. Springdale schools were chosen for the water bottle filling stations based on zip codes with the greatest need. Dedications for six of the new water bottle filling stations will be held at these days and times in these Springdale schools:
- 9:30 a.m. JO Kelly Middle School
- 10:30 a.m. Jones Elementary School
- 1 p.m. Parson Hills Elementary School
- 2:30 p.m. TG Smith Elementary School
- 8:30 a.m. Walker Elementary School
- 10 a.m. Elmdale Elementary School
- 1 p.m. Lee Elementary School
There will be interview and photo/video opportunities at each dedication.
About the American Heart Association The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-479-439-6800.
For media inquiries: Cyd King, communications director American Heart Association-Northwest Arkansas Cyd.King@heart.org (479) 439-6811 (479) 263-8473