Learning from the Drinking Water Promotion Project: A Regional Effort to Promote Water in Schools
Building on a statewide program to test school drinking water for lead, the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Network (BANPAC) supported 11 San Francisco Bay Area schools in testing and promoting drinking water last school year.
The Drinking Water Promotion Project (DWAPP) piloted an innovative model that convened a committee of water experts, including researchers and representatives from local water utilities, health departments, and non-profits, to develop a systematic approach for drinking water testing and promotion.
School champions, primarily teachers who serve on the school wellness committee, were recruited at 11 schools throughout the Bay Area. The DWAPP program coordinator provided each school champion with a water promotion plan, package of ready-to-use materials, and a small amount of funding to support water promotion efforts. School champions selected activities that matched their school’s needs and interests. Activities included poster and water bottle logo design competitions, infused water taste tests, and schoolwide assemblies. Many schools also sent a fact sheet on the importance of water for health home to all parents and provided water bottles to all students.
This Kaiser Permanente funded effort reached an estimated 10,000 students, parents, and school staff, and serves as a model for how regional obesity prevention collaboratives can help schools promote drinking water. Click to read the full report and see sample materials.