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Caroline County Public Schools Strengthen Water Access in New Wellness Policy

Caroline County, VA (December 14, 2022) – Although Caroline County Public Schools (CCPS) is quickly approaching the holiday break, the division’s leaders are still working on important policies and improvements for their students for the new year. On December 12, the Caroline County School Board held its last meeting of 2022 this week. The meeting included an important update of the division’s Wellness Policy. The updated policy now ensures that all students will not only have access to water during the school day but before and after school as well. This change will empower students involved in extracurricular activities to practice healthy hydration behaviors as they stay active in clubs, sports, or other opportunities. The new policy will also provide students with the opportunity to carry water bottles throughout the day to encourage consumption. The updated policy was created and adopted in part due to the efforts of the Rev Your Bev campaign, a statewide initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) that is supported by its youth-led program Y Street.

Research has consistently proven that water is the healthiest beverage choice as it acts as fuel for your body. Since 2013, Rev Your Bev and Y Street have devoted and sustained efforts to spread healthy hydration messages to help individuals make drinking water a habit and improve Virginians’ overall health. The inclusion of Rev Your Bev’s policies throughout Hopewell’s schools marks a significant victory for the campaign and the Y Street members who led the effort.

Y Street Leadership Team member and Caroline County High School student Anthony Lanning provided public comment at the school board meeting to encourage the adoption of the proposed Wellness Policy. Anthony pointed out the benefits of water consumption in his comments to the School Board. “I used to drink a lot of soda before joining Y Street thinking the caffeine would help keep me awake. It turns out it doesn’t and just made me more tired when I was dehydrated. Water is more helpful with keeping me awake and my mind focused.” CCPS’ Coordinator of Safety and Compliance, Jeff Wick, highlighted the impact Caroline County Y Street members had on the creation of this new policy, noting Y Street does “a lot of good work in the schools not only with drinking water but promoting [student] leadership.”

With the new water access policies in place, CCPS now shifts its focus to implementation. The Rev Your Bev campaign will continue to work closely with CCPS to ensure that the updated

Wellness Policy is implemented efficiently and effectively. The campaign will also assist the division in communicating the policy to the school community.

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About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY)

Established in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth empowers Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices by reducing and preventing youth tobacco and nicotine use, substance use, and childhood obesity. VFHY takes a comprehensive approach to prevention work that includes reaching about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, day cares and prevention programs across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaigns deliver prevention messaging to more than 500,000 children annually. In addition, VFHY’s research program provides scientific insight on methods to effectively reduce tobacco use. Since 2002, VFHY has funded 40 large research projects at universities throughout Virginia. For more information, visit www.vfhy.org.

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