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Richmond, VA (March 2023) – This week, Y Street, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s (VFHY) statewide teen-volunteer initiative, is going into their communities to engage residents in tobacco-free messaging and advocate for tobacco-free parks and outdoor recreational areas. Parks are dedicated spaces within communities that provide kids and adults a space to be active and gather outdoors. At a time when Virginians are happy to get outdoors, Y Street members are striving to make sure Virginians have equitable access to clean and healthier outdoor environments through its campaign, Share The Air.

Share The Air aims to create 100% tobacco-free parklands by encouraging local parks and recreation departments and government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies. From August 2019 to July 2022, Y Street members have collected over 10,000 opinion surveys from residents that show a strong majority of Virginians (90%) agree that parklands should be tobacco-free and vapor-free. Virginians (91%) also feel strongly that secondhand smoke is a dangerous hazard outdoors, and that tobacco and e-cigarette products cause damage to the environment (91%).

When asked why the campaign is important, Y Street member and local student, Haley Flores, from James River High School replied, “the Share The Air campaign is very important because of my family’s health issues. It is important to me that my sister and mother are able to go outside without worrying about having an asthmatic attack. I believe that through the Share The Air campaign change will be possible and really benefit the community.”

The campaign has received positive feedback from its partner localities that have gone 100% tobacco-free, including Chesterfield County, Hopewell, King George County, New Kent County, and Fauquier County. Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Director Gary Rzepecki noted after the locality agreed to go tobacco-free in January 2023, that “having tobacco-free spaces in Fauquier County Parks fits our mission of providing spaces for mental and physical health and wellness activities. Partnering with the Share The Air campaign promotes a healthier environment and strengthens our existing partnerships in Fauquier County and the state of Virginia.”

This week, the campaign has launched its 2nd annual Share The Air Takes Action where Y Street members are speaking to residents about the benefits of tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free parklands and rallying community members around this issue by asking individuals to submit messages of support for tobacco-free outdoor spaces. The campaign hopes that local parks and recreation departments will make changes to its park rules that include tobacco-free outdoor policies to provide an even greater outdoor experience for its residents.

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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.

Press Releases

Powhatan County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Powhatan County, VA – Powhatan County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 4,295 […]

READ MORE
Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY […]

READ MORE
Chesterfield County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Chesterfield County, VA – Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with […]

READ MORE
McReynolds Sports Complex Goes 100% Tobacco-Free 

York County, VA. – York County has taken a step towards promoting a healthier outdoor environment by implementing a new tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free policy for the McReynolds Athletic Complex in Yorktown, VA. The facility boasts 13 athletic fields, 2 playgrounds, and a multi-purpose path perfect for walking and jogging to name a few, an ideal […]

READ MORE
Martinsville City Council Votes for 100% Tobacco-Free Parks

Martinsville, VA. – The city of Martinsville recently decided to commit to making its parklands and park facilities 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest […]

READ MORE
Brunswick County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Brunswick County, VA – Brunswick County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 1,451 […]

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Fauquier County, VA (March 23, 2023) – Fauquier County Public Schools (FCPS) has partnered with the Rev Your Bev campaign, an obesity prevention initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY), to encourage its school community to drink more water during the school day and recognize the academic and health benefits of making this choice. FCPS values the health and well-being of its students and staff, and for this reason, updated its wellness policy earlier this year in January with comprehensive language that increases water access and promotion to align with Rev Your Bev’s best practices. The updated wellness policy recognizes water as an essential nutrient and ensures that students not only have access to water during the school day but before and after school as well.

To celebrate its updated School Wellness Policy and the continued healthy learning environment it provides its students and staff, FCPS hosted a celebratory event last week on March 23, 2023. During the event, students, teachers, and staff participated in fun water-related activities and wrote Thank You messages, thanking FCPS for their efforts to promote healthy hydration and empower their school community to make drinking water a habit. The Rev Your Bev campaign also donated and distributed over 1,000 water bottles to support the division in implementing its policy.

Healthy hydration is important to students like Abigail Shilling at Fauquier High School who shared, “Empowering our school community to promote healthy hydration is important to me because hydration is crucial in everyone’s lives and so many people don’t take it seriously or have access to it. When people don’t drink enough water it can have major effects on their health. By having reusable water bottles and accessible water fountains we can promote healthy hydration for everyone.”

FCPS is excited about its updated wellness policy and the extraordinary steps they are taking to increase water consumption and ensure all students have an opportunity to be healthy and successful. School Nutrition Director SueAnn Fox noted, “As we all know, staying hydrated through water consumption is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people do not consume enough water, and we believe that instilling good habits in our students now will be beneficial throughout their lives.”

With FCPS partnering with Rev Your Bev and joining the growing list of divisions with comprehensive wellness policies that place an emphasis on water access and promotion, more Virginia students now have more access to water throughout the school day.

______________________________________________________________________________

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, daycares, 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 into 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.

Press Releases

Powhatan County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Powhatan County, VA – Powhatan County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 4,295 […]

READ MORE
Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY […]

READ MORE
Chesterfield County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Chesterfield County, VA – Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with […]

READ MORE
McReynolds Sports Complex Goes 100% Tobacco-Free 

York County, VA. – York County has taken a step towards promoting a healthier outdoor environment by implementing a new tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free policy for the McReynolds Athletic Complex in Yorktown, VA. The facility boasts 13 athletic fields, 2 playgrounds, and a multi-purpose path perfect for walking and jogging to name a few, an ideal […]

READ MORE
Martinsville City Council Votes for 100% Tobacco-Free Parks

Martinsville, VA. – The city of Martinsville recently decided to commit to making its parklands and park facilities 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest […]

READ MORE
Brunswick County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Brunswick County, VA – Brunswick County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 1,451 […]

READ MORE

New Kent County, VA. – New Kent County’s parks and outdoor recreational areas are officially tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free. New Kent County’s Board of Supervisors recently voted to update its park rules that will prohibit tobacco use within 50 feet of sporting events, spectators, or gatherings in outside parks.

The vote was initiated by Y Street, Virginia’s largest youth-led movement and a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Y Street members strive to make sure Virginians have equitable access to clean and healthier outdoor environments through its campaign, Share The Air. Share The Air aims to create 100% tobacco-free parklands by encouraging local park and recreation departments and government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies.

In February, Y Street youth members met with the Parks and Recreation’s Park Director to discuss how the county can enhance its community parks and outdoor recreational areas and provide an even greater outdoor experience for its residents by going 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free which the director expressed full support for. Soon after, Y Street members presented to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on March 13, 2023. New Kent County strives to create dedicated spaces that provide residents with a space to be active, relax, and gather outdoors and for this reason, the board passed a motion to adopt a tobacco-free outdoor policy and partner with Share The Air.

The impact of the new policy is expected to reduce tobacco and vape litter and residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke and promote positive role modeling for youth who visit the county’s parks and outdoor recreational areas. New Kent County joins the growing list of Share The Air’s partners, becoming its 10th partner, and localities with tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies. When asked about New Kent’s decision to partner with Share The Air, New Kent County’s Parks and Recreation Director, Kim Turner, replied, “Partnering with Share The Air to promote health equity and a healthier environment builds on our current partnerships in New Kent County and the Commonwealth. Tobacco-free spaces in New Kent County Parks fit our mission of enhancing the quality of life by promoting, providing, and maintaining public spaces for both mental and physical self-care activities.”

New Kent County will free receive tobacco-free signage as part of its partnership with Share The Air to post as a reminder to park visitors.

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

Press Releases

Powhatan County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Powhatan County, VA – Powhatan County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 4,295 […]

READ MORE
Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY […]

READ MORE
Chesterfield County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Chesterfield County, VA – Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with […]

READ MORE
McReynolds Sports Complex Goes 100% Tobacco-Free 

York County, VA. – York County has taken a step towards promoting a healthier outdoor environment by implementing a new tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free policy for the McReynolds Athletic Complex in Yorktown, VA. The facility boasts 13 athletic fields, 2 playgrounds, and a multi-purpose path perfect for walking and jogging to name a few, an ideal […]

READ MORE
Martinsville City Council Votes for 100% Tobacco-Free Parks

Martinsville, VA. – The city of Martinsville recently decided to commit to making its parklands and park facilities 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest […]

READ MORE
Brunswick County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Brunswick County, VA – Brunswick County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 1,451 […]

READ MORE

Chesterfield County, VA. – Chesterfield County’s parks and outdoor recreational areas are officially tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free. The County’s Parks and Recreation Department recently made the decision to fully establish its parklands as 100% tobacco-free by prohibiting tobacco use within 50 feet of sporting events, spectators, or gatherings in outside parks.

The commitment was initiated by Y Street, Virginia’s largest youth-led movement and a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Y Street members strive to make sure Virginians have equitable access to clean and healthier outdoor environments through its campaign, Share The Air. Share The Air aims to create 100% tobacco-free parklands by encouraging local park and recreation departments and government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies.

Y Street member and local student, Haley Flores, from James River High School met with the Parks and Recreation Department to discuss its existing park rules surrounding tobacco use and how they can provide an even greater outdoor experience for its residents by going 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free. When asked why the campaign is important to her Haley replied, “the Share The Air campaign is very important because of my family’s health issues. It is important to me that my sister and mother are able to go outside without worrying about having an asthmatic attack. I believe that through the Share The Air campaign change will be possible and really benefit the community.” Haley’s presentation resonated with the department, and as a county that strives to create dedicated spaces that provide residents with a space to be active, relax, and gather outdoors, the department recommitted to going tobacco-free by signing a commitment form with support from its Advisory Committee.

The impact of the policy is expected to reduce tobacco and vape litter and residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke and promote positive role modeling for youth who visit the county’s parks and outdoor recreational areas. Chesterfield County joins the growing list of Share The Air’s partners, becoming its 9th partner, and localities with tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies.

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

Press Releases

Powhatan County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Powhatan County, VA – Powhatan County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 4,295 […]

READ MORE
Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY […]

READ MORE
Chesterfield County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Chesterfield County, VA – Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with […]

READ MORE
McReynolds Sports Complex Goes 100% Tobacco-Free 

York County, VA. – York County has taken a step towards promoting a healthier outdoor environment by implementing a new tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free policy for the McReynolds Athletic Complex in Yorktown, VA. The facility boasts 13 athletic fields, 2 playgrounds, and a multi-purpose path perfect for walking and jogging to name a few, an ideal […]

READ MORE
Martinsville City Council Votes for 100% Tobacco-Free Parks

Martinsville, VA. – The city of Martinsville recently decided to commit to making its parklands and park facilities 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest […]

READ MORE
Brunswick County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Brunswick County, VA – Brunswick County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 1,451 […]

READ MORE

King George County, VA (March 6, 2023) – Each school year brings new opportunities to improve on the last and find ways to grow. King George County Schools did just that by updating its School Wellness Policy to help meet the additional nutritional needs of its students. The revised policy includes comprehensive language with an emphasis on promoting water and healthy hydration. The language was developed in collaboration with students from King George High School as part of the Rev Your Bev campaign, a statewide obesity prevention 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. On February 6, 2023, King George County’s School Board voted to update its wellness policy to align more with Rev Your Bev’s best practices. The revisions include language that ensures good-tasting water is accessible to students and staff during and after the school day and encourages students, staff, and administrators to model positive hydration behaviors. Including Rev Your Bev’s best practices not only marks a significant victory for the division but also for the campaign and Y Street members who led the effort.

On February 22, 2023, at King George County’s School Board meeting, King George High School students were recognized and applauded for their dedication and advocacy efforts. During the meeting, student and Y Street member Ayla Zook thanked the school board for making the decision to update the School Wellness Policy, and stated that “it will probably make a big impact on everyone moving forward and just help everyone.”

With the updated wellness policy in place, King George County Schools now shifts its focus to implementation. As the 4th new partner of the Rev Your Bev campaign, the division will be gifted free resources such as water bottles to distribute to all its students to support its implementation efforts.

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

Press Releases

Powhatan County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Powhatan County, VA – Powhatan County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 4,295 […]

READ MORE
Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events Are Officially 100% Tobacco-Free

Fredericksburg, VA. – Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events decided to commit to making its parklands 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. VFHY […]

READ MORE
Chesterfield County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Chesterfield County, VA – Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with […]

READ MORE
McReynolds Sports Complex Goes 100% Tobacco-Free 

York County, VA. – York County has taken a step towards promoting a healthier outdoor environment by implementing a new tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free policy for the McReynolds Athletic Complex in Yorktown, VA. The facility boasts 13 athletic fields, 2 playgrounds, and a multi-purpose path perfect for walking and jogging to name a few, an ideal […]

READ MORE
Martinsville City Council Votes for 100% Tobacco-Free Parks

Martinsville, VA. – The city of Martinsville recently decided to commit to making its parklands and park facilities 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free to provide a clean, healthy, and safe environment for all to enjoy. The policy change was initiated by Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Virginia’s largest […]

READ MORE
Brunswick County Public Schools is Setting a Healthy Example to Increase Students’ Water Consumption

Brunswick County, VA – Brunswick County Public Schools has made important updates to its School Wellness Policy to ensure that students have increased access to water throughout the school day. This change will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health and well-being of students throughout the division and their overall academic success, with 1,451 […]

READ MORE