In addition to providing students with proper water access to stay hydrated throughout the day, we also educate them on a variety of water topics. We give them handouts, put up posters, and have pop quizzes and tests to help them to retain the information. It is our belief that when students are educated on the benefits of staying properly hydrated, they will learn to view water in a new light.
First and foremost, we teach them about the lack of clean water around the world. When 780 million people in the world do not have access to clean water, then it is important that clean water be appreciated in countries that do have it. Some families need to walk miles every day to get the clean water they need to survive. Luckily, here in the United States, clean water is usually only a few steps away.
Second, we educate the students about how dehydration affects their lives both in the classroom and at home. We teach them about the many different, sometimes barely noticeable effects that dehydration has on the human mind and body. That it is important for a student to make sure he or she is well hydrated in the classroom in order to perform well and feel their best. Attention span, critical thinking, mood, and short-term memory are all things that are negatively affected by dehydration and all of those things are essential for success in the classroom.
We also teach students about the dangers of excessive sugary beverage consumption. When more than 1 in 3 people in the US will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, it is important that students understand how sugary beverages will impact their health. We show them how much sugar is in beverages that they see every day, and explain to them that they should view soda as a dessert or a treat. After all, one scoop of ice cream has less than half the amount of sugar than a 12 oz. can of soda!