David Salas, a fifth grader at Vista’s Monte Vista Elementary School, fills his new Love Tap! water bottle. Courtesy photo
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Hydration station helps students quench their thirst

VISTA — Monte Vista Elementary School is the 10th Vista Unified School District site to add a hydration station to its campus to help students quench their thirst.

The station allows students to easily fill up water bottles. It has a push button dispenser, marked spot to place a bottle and ample room to fill it up.

School Principal Charlene Smith said she has seen more students keep themselves hydrated and healthy since the station was installed.

“They love it,” Smith said. “I don’t have hard facts, but attendance is going up and they’re drinking more.”

Smith said students are excited about the new push-button station, and it sparks classroom discussions on health and hydration.

“When kids see a water bottle sitting on their desk, they’re going to drink it,” Smith said. “It’s helping to prepare the whole child for success.”

The station was installed in the fall.

On Jan. 6, students and teachers celebrated receiving the station along with district facility staff and Vista Irrigation District personnel.

The irrigation district distributed water bottles to all 586 students to mark the day. A group of students helped cut a ceremonial ribbon to recognize the station, and immediately filled up their new water bottles.

“These stations make a small, but vital part of a student’s day much easier,” Brock Smith, school district executive director of facilities and operations, said.

Prior to the station being installed a smattering of students would bring in water bottles, and struggle to fill them at the drinking fountain.

During hot months many teachers would take it upon themselves to buy a case of bottled water to keep students hydrated.

The station paired with reusable water bottles solves the dilemma, and reduces one-use plastic bottle waste.

Brett Hodgkiss, Vista Irrigation District assistant general manager, said the irrigation district supports the school district’s efforts to make local drinking water accessible and convenient.

“The school district’s efforts compliment the Vista Irrigation District’s drink tap water campaign, Love Tap!, aimed to raise awareness of the quality, value and environmental benefits of the water the Vista Irrigation District delivers,” Hodgkiss said.

The station was purchased by the school district as part of its facilities improvement efforts.