Live Well Geary County officials have announced that Geary USD 475 has received a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Implementation Grant totaling $11,440 to go toward purchasing kits to convert at least one water cooler in each school in the district, and St. Xavier School to a water bottle filling station. The funds come from Live Well Geary County, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas “Pathways to a Healthy Kansas” community grant.
The equipment will enable students to have access to filtered drinking water throughout the school day. Filtered water bottle filling stations will give students the healthy drinking option they need. Luan Sparks, Executive Director of Student Support Services, said “a new policy in the 2019-2020 student handbook will allow students to have clear / translucent water bottles in the classroom where appropriate.”
Water bottle stations will help reduce the amount of waste from plastic water bottles. Swapping out soda for water is an easy way for young kids to form healthy habits and reduce their intake of unnecessary sugar. Safe, clean and accessible water gives students greater incentive to hydrate more often, contributing to greater energy and productivity.
Geary County is one of 16 Kansas communities selected to participate in the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas program. Live Well Geary County has received a $100,000 coordination grant. Geary County schools, work sites, restaurants, food retail outlets and other organizations have the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementarionand achievements grants amounting to $400,000 through 2020.
Schools are able to apply for up to $60,000 in grant funds available through the Schools Pathway to enact policies and procedures to attain the Modeling level of the Kansas State Department’s Wellness Policy Guidelines in the areas of Physical Activity, Nutrition and Nutrition Promotion and Education.