Richmond, VA (May 2023) – This week, teachers, early childhood educators, staff, and administrators across Virginia are pledging to role model healthy hydration behaviors as part of Rev Your Bev Week – a statewide week of action put forth by Rev Your Bev, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s (VFHY) healthy hydration campaign. Its purpose is to promote water and the vital role it plays in student health and wellness and mobilize schools across Virginia to boost students’ ability to maintain healthy hydration habits in school and childcare institutions.
For the week of action, members of Y Street, VFHY’s statewide youth-led high school program, are leading their schools in fun activities to show their school communities how to make healthy hydration part of their school culture by leading by example. Teachers, administrators, aides, coaches, and other staff at school can be powerful role models in shaping the nutritional behaviors of students. Because of this, Y Street members are asking school staff to commit to role modeling behaviors such as pledging to carry a water bottle and refrain from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages in front of students as part of Rev Your Bev’s best practices. Y Street is showcasing staff pledges on social media to amplify their commitments and the healthy message it sends.
In addition, Y Street is collecting personal messages from their school community supporting healthy hydration promotion in Virginia schools. Abigail Shilling, a Y Street member and student at Fauquier High School, 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.”
Schools’ participation in Rev Your Bev Week will help bolster Rev Your Bev and Y Street’s overarching goal of encouraging school divisions to update their School Wellness Policy to increase water access and promotion in schools. Throughout the school year, youth have collected over 4,000 messages of support and met with their school board members to advocate for policy changes. Youths’ efforts have led to four divisions updating their wellness policies to align more with Rev Your Bev’s best practices: Hopewell City, Fauquier County, Caroline County, and King George County Schools, with more divisions joining the list soon.
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.
About Rev Your Bev
Established in 2013, Rev Your Bev is a statewide obesity prevention campaign that aims to improve the health of all Virginians by encouraging individuals to drink more water. Learn more at RevYourBev.com