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King George County Schools Increase Water Access in its School Wellness Policy

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.

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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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