LEXINGTON, S.C. — A Lexington County School District One school takes extra steps to go green and encourage healthy habits in its students.
Forts Pond Elementary students make sustainable and health-conscious choices thanks to the support of donors from across South Carolina. FPES School Nurse Sharon Fairey worked with a group of FPES staff to raise $1,226 on DonorsChoose.org to bring a water bottle refilling station, the first of its kind in Lexington District One, to the school.
“There is a lot of research available to support the need for hydrating throughout the day to increase brain function and focus for students,” Fairey explained.
Due to FPES staff sharing about the “Water Bottle Filling Station — FPES Goes Green!” project on social media, it only took a few days for it to be fully funded. Parents, staff, and community members fell among the generous donors.
The school installed the bottle filling station onto an existing water fountain on September 12, and students quickly lined up to give it a try. They can now bring a refillable water bottle from home and enjoy cold, filtered water all day.
“Many of our teachers already encourage students to bring water from home, but having this refilling station available to them at school will make it more ‘fun’ to drink water,” said Assistant Principal Stephanie Taylor.
FPES also reduces the amount of waste it produces by cutting down on the number of water bottles thrown away after only one use.
The refilling station will develop into an academic project as well as students track the number of bottles they save throughout the year. To date, the school has saved nearly 1,700 bottles.
“Once we get past the novelty of having the water station, we will set a monthly goal for how many plastic bottles we hope to save and track our use with the water station,” said Principal Michelle Smith.
The refilling station also serves FPES students participating in after-school programs like Run Hard and Quest Zone.