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Rethink Your Drink: Water’s Cool at School Program

The Rethink Your Drink campaign, developed by the Delta Dental Foundation, aims to help children and adults make healthier beverage choices through educational materials and resources.

Water’s Cool at School

Providing access to drinking water throughout the school day gives students a healthy alternative to sugary beverages like soda pop and sports or juice drinks. Drinking plenty of water can help combat obesity, increase energy levels and may improve students’ cognitive functions. Further, if fluoridated, drinking water also plays an important role in preventing cavities.

As part of its Rethink Your Drink campaign, the Delta Dental Foundation replaced existing drinking fountains at a number of selected schools in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana with new Elkay water fountain/bottle filling stations installed by Balfrey & Johnston, Inc. of Oak Park, Michigan.

Rethink Your Drink Curriculum – Second Grade

Rethink Your Drink for second grade is an oral health curriculum that teaches children about the oral health benefits of choosing healthy drinks over sugary, unhealthy drinks. The four-lesson curriculum is packed full of engaging information and fun activities to show children why their teeth are important for lifelong health and how to care for them by brushing, visiting the dentist, and of course, rethinking their drink choices!

The second-grade curriculum lessons include Healthy Teeth, all about dental care practices and why they are important as well as starting a science experiment involving an egg and soda; Dental Decay, covering how decay happens and how to prevent it; Water Versus Sugary Drinks, discovering the amount of sugar is unhealthy drinks and why our bodies need water; and Recap, to wrap up the science experiment started in lesson one as well as reinforce the concepts taught throughout.

The curriculum includes a brief 20-minute pre-recorded teacher training designed to provide teachers an overview of how the curriculum is used in practice.

Rethink Your Drink Curriculum – Seventh Grade

Rethink Your Drink for seventh grade is a curriculum that is designed to teach children about the importance of choosing healthier drinks. The eight-lesson curriculum is packed full of interactive activities that engage seventh graders in learning all about germs, cavities, proper dental health care, beverage advertising, and most of all, rethinking their drink!

The seventh grade curriculum lessons include Getting Started, where students take a pretest, personalize their very own water bottle, and start on an art project they will present in lesson eight; Healthy Teeth, which teaches students about healthy dental care and includes a pH experiment; Dental Decay, where students learn how decay happens and conduct an eggshell experiment; Water Versus Sugary Drinks includes a nutrition label activity to help students understand more about sugar and their body; Drinks in the Media, which teaches students to think about how advertisers influence their decisions about drinks; Trusting Your Sources, which helps students practice accessing valid dental health information; Rethink Your Drink, where students will see all they have learned come together and get to play a game to see how their drink choices affect their future; and Review and Closing, which includes a post-test, Jeopardy!-style game, and students presenting their art projects.

The curriculum includes a brief 20-minute pre-recorded teacher training designed to provide teachers an overview of how the curriculum is used in practice.

Learn More

To learn more about how to increase access to drinking water in school or about the Rethink Your Drink campaign, visit:

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