PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A handful of area schools will get new water-bottle filling stations thanks to the H2O On the Go grant program, an initiative created by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children`s Healthcare Foundation.

In Peoria County, Liberty Leadership Middle School will get the new bottles. In addition, students at the The Peoria Public Schools facility, like all others who are receiving a filling station, will get toothbrushes and reusable water bottles.

Also in central Illinois, East Peoria Community High School and Rankin Elementary School in Pekin will get the stations. In DeWitt County, Clinton High School, Clinton Junior High School and Lincoln Elementary School are getting the new bottle filling stations.

In all, 70 schools around the state were chosen this year. They will have existing water fountains replaced with new water bottle-filling stations.

H2O On the Go provides greater access to fluoridated drinking water for Illinois students and encourages them to choose water instead of sugary beverages like soda, juice, and sports drinks.

A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that increasing water accessibility for children had a direct correlation with improved hydration and overall health.2 Drinking fluoridated water also enhances energy, improves attention spans, and facilitates learning.

“Since the program began in 2020, H2O On the Go has expanded access to clean drinking water in nearly 300 Illinois schools,” says Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the program’s impact on thousands of Illinois students,” says Heather Higgins Alderman, Illinois Children’s Foundation President & CEO. “Expanding access to clean water not only encourages healthier choices but also enhances overall well-being in the state.”

For a full list of schools selected this year for the H2O On the Go program, click on this link: