Madison's 'Got Water' Project Working to Hydrate School Children

This year, the city's hydration and public outreach initiative will reach more than 14,000 students and staff in 30 schools

Madison's 'Got Water' Project Working to Hydrate School Children

Students fill bottles at a Lindbergh Elementary hydration station in Madison Wisconsin. (Photo Courtesy of the City of Madison - Madison Water Utility)

Five more Madison, Wisconsin, schools are getting hydration stations, thanks to the city’s “Got Water?” initiative. New water bottle refilling stations will be installed this spring at Midvale, Hawthorne, Mendota and Stephens elementary schools, along with Toki Middle School.

Now in its sixth year, the partnership between Madison Water Utility, Madison Metropolitan School District and the Healthy Kids Collaborative based at American Family Children’s Hospital helps children make healthy beverage choices by giving them easy access to water at school.

“Students and staff have been so appreciative of this partnership and the healthy message that it delivers each day in our schools. Education and easy access to fresh drinking water will benefit our community for many years to come,” says Steve Youngbauer, MMSD director of food and nutrition.

Before the Got Water initiative began in 2015, no Madison elementary or middle school had a water bottle refilling station. By the end of this school year, more than 14,000 students and staff will be filling up water bottles at 30 hydration stations across Madison.

“The Got Water partnership is one of the Healthy Kids Collaborative’s signature programs,” says Healthy Kids Collaborative program manager Julia Stanley. “Drinking water, rather than sugary drinks, is one of our key healthy habit messages. We love making the healthy choice the easy choice for so many people in our community! Thank you Madison Water Utility and MMSD!”

Midvale Elementary School Principal Rebecca Galvin found out this week that her school would get a “Got Water?” hydration station, which she believes will have an impact in the classroom.

“We are excited to continue teaching students to create positive lifestyle changes, like drinking water instead of juice, soda or other sugary drinks,” she says. “Safe, clean and accessible water also gives students greater motivation to hydrate more often, which contributes to increased energy and engagement in the classroom.”

The initiative also provides new water bottles for every child and staff member at each school and a school-wide celebration with Madison Water Utility’s Water Wagon where kids can learn about the importance of clean water and conservation.

“The Got Water partnership not only teaches kids about healthy beverage choices, it also gets them thinking about where their water comes from and how important it is to conserve and protect it,” says Madison Water Utility General Manager Tom Heikkinen.

Source: City of Madison - Madison Water Utility


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