RJWAC Water Bottle Project

Campus+Vending+Machines+with+water+and+sport+drinks
Campus Vending Machines with water and sport drinks

Campus Vending Machines with water and sport drinks

Rochelle Alfieri

Rochelle Alfieri

Campus Vending Machines with water and sport drinks

Skylar Owens-Hailey, Staff Writer

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Bruce Hamilton, a District 11 substitute teacher for The Campus, and Mekayla Wilson, Zallianna Pacheco-Johnson, and other Link Crew students from the Bijou school planned a project in hopes to take the schools ‘less than average water fountains’ and replace them with water bottle stations.   Called “The Water Bottle Project”, the purpose was to reduce throwing thousands of plastic water  bottles into the local landfill.  Another benefit of the project was to increase student health by avoiding germs on the school drinking fountains.

The idea arose from students discomfort using the water fountain because of sanitary issues, such as, gum and chewing tobacco in the fountain.  In addition, the RJ Wasson building was built in 1959, with limited finances for repairs there is metal peeling off the side of the fountain. There are also concerns about the types of pipes providing water to the building.

Students have been able to access 4 ounce water bottles from the cafeteria.  However, most students take two of these to get enough water to drink in the dry Colorado climate.  Often they will get this water more than once per day, which only compounds the problems. Throwing these bottles into trash or recycling is wasteful and not good for the environment.

The Link Crew made posters and hung them around the Campus to advertise the project.  Students were asked to complete a survey to determine if a filtered water bottle filling station would be used or not.  Bijou students collected empty plastic bottles at the school.  The plan was to do this for a month, but after two weeks every box and storage space designated to determine how many bottles were being used was overflowing.  It was determined that the collection had proved the problem and to discontinue the collection.

Beginning in November, students have been working on this project.  Bijou Link Crew members went to each of the schools on the Wasson Campus to encourage them to join the project.   A survey was created online to collect opinions from youth around the world.

Wilson and Pacheo-Johnson met with District Administrator, Dan Hoff, to advocate for the water bottle filling stations. Mr. Hoff and District 11 have agreed to install 2 water bottle filling stations on the Campus for the 2017-2018 school year.  One will be in the Bijou School hallway and the other in the cafeteria.

The Bijou School teachers and Principal, Kathryn Presnal, support finding solutions to provide water bottles to students.  This will increase student time in the classroom and remove the excuse to get out of class for five minutes to fill a water bottle.

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