Parents, community members raise money to install water bottle filling stations in Peoria Public Schools

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Water fountains are off-limits in Peoria Public Schools due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Some parents and community leaders say it leaves students without access to drinking water during the day.

With students back in the classroom, Mike Murphy, the Kellar Primary School PTO President, is trying to make sure kids don’t go thirsty. He said hands-free water bottle filling stations are the answer.

“These water bottle filler stations will help eliminate anyone having to touch the fountains,” Murphy said. “It helps stop the spread of germs, not just COVID-19.”

The fundraiser aims to collect enough money to buy 14 water stations or at least one for each Peoria Public School that is without one.

He said kids can bring water bottles to school and some schools are receiving water bottle donations, but says these are not sustainable or reliable options.

“If they go through that one bottle of water that they came with in the morning, they really don’t have any other options other than to maybe go to like the bathroom sinks,” Murphy said. “One, the water there’s not filtered, and two, some of those sinks are so shallow that water bottles don’t fit underneath of them.”

The stations cost $740 each and Murphy said they are relying on check and cash donations to make it possible. He also said that those who donate the amount for one station will receive a plaque above the station they helped buy.

Those interested in donating can send their contribution to 422 E High Point Dr., Peoria, IL, 61614, or request it to be picked up by sending an email to mjmurphy82@yahoo.com.

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