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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 students covered under the policy revision and having access to the support they need to stay hydrated during the day. By prioritizing the well-being of its students, Powhatan County Public Schools is setting a great example for other school divisions to follow. 

The updated policy was developed in collaboration with the Rev Your Bev campaign, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s (VFHY) healthy hydration campaign, and its statewide, award-winning high school 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. Powhatan County Public Schools’ revised wellness policy now aligns more with Rev Your Bev’s best practices. The new policy language details additional provisions, including water availability before and after school, maintenance standards, allowances for water bottles, and encouragement for staff to model healthy behaviors. 

VFHY and Y Street are committed to supporting Virginia school divisions’ efforts to maintain a positive, healthy learning environment and serve as a resource for Virginia schools. “The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is thrilled to have Powhatan County Public Schools join as a partner to support healthy hydration. Adequate water consumption is a great habit for youth to develop and a key component to creating positive health outcomes,” said Executive Director Marty Kilgore. When asked why the campaign is important, Y Street member and Powhatan High School student Bre Gillespie says, “It’s important because it now allows students and staff greater freedom when accessing water, which is an essential nutrient. Hopefully, now that this policy has passed, our school can do better than ever!”

The impact of the updated policy is expected to increase students’ water consumption and promote positive healthy hydration. Powhatan County Public Schools joins the growing list of divisions with comprehensive wellness policies that prioritize water access and promotion, becoming Rev Your Bev’s 12th partner. “We are pleased to partner with the Rev Your Bev initiative to promote hydration in all Powhatan County Public Schools. Our partnership will bring various resources to help encourage students and staff to drink water throughout the day as an important part of maintaining the overall health and wellness in our schools,” says Kelly Sarkees, Comprehensive Intervention Specialist.

Powhatan County Public Schools will receive free resources such as water bottles from VFHY as part of its partnership with Rev Your Bev to support the division in implementing its updated policy. 

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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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