This year, the initiative will reach more than 14,000 students and staff in 30 schools.

Students fill bottles at Lindbergh Elementary hydration station
Students fill bottles at Lindbergh Elementary hydration station

Five more Madison schools are getting hydration stations, thanks to the “Got Water?” initiative. New water bottle refilling stations will be installed this spring at Midvale, Hawthorne, Mendota, and Stephens elementary schools along with Toki Middle School. Now in its 6th year, the partnership between Madison Water Utility, Madison Metropolitan School District, and the Healthy Kids Collaborative based at American Family Children's Hospital helps children make healthy beverage choices by giving them easy access to water at school.

“Students and staff have been so appreciative of this partnership and the healthy message that it delivers each day in our schools. Education and easy access to fresh drinking water will benefit our community for many years to come,” says Steve Youngbauer, MMSD Director of Food and Nutrition.

Before the “Got Water?” initiative began in 2015, no Madison elementary or middle school had a water bottle refilling station. By the end of this school year, more than 14,000 students and staff will be filling up water bottles at 30 “Got Water?” hydration stations across Madison.

Student filling bottle at Thoreau Elementary
Thoreau Elementary, 2019 

"The Got Water partnership is one of the Healthy Kids Collaborative's signature programs,” says Healthy Kids Collaborative program manager Julia Stanley. “Drinking water, rather than sugary drinks, is one of our key healthy habit messages. We love making the healthy choice the easy choice for so many people in our community! Thank you Madison Water Utility and MMSD!"

Midvale Elementary School Principal Rebecca Galvin found out this week that her school would be getting a “Got Water?” hydration station, which she believes will have an impact in the classroom.

“We are excited to continue teaching students to create positive lifestyle changes, like drinking water instead of juice, soda or other sugary drinks,” she says. “Safe, clean and accessible water also gives students greater motivation to hydrate more often, which contributes to increased energy and engagement in the classroom.”

The initiative also provides new water bottles for every child and staff member at each school and a school-wide celebration with Madison Water Utility’s Water Wagon where kids can learn about the importance of clean water and conservation.

“The Got Water partnership not only teaches kids about healthy beverage choices, it also gets them thinking about where their water comes from and how important it is to conserve and protect it,” says Madison Water Utility General Manager Tom Heikkinen.

School-wide celebrations will start in May.

All “Got Water?” hydration station schools:

2015: Huegel, Leopold, Elvehjem

2016: Allis, Lindbergh, Lake View

2017: Orchard Ridge, Falk, Schenk, Gompers, Glendale, Wright Middle, Sherman Middle

2018: Kennedy, Muir, Crestwood, Lapham, Lowell, Cherokee Heights Middle.

2019: Thoreau, Cesar Chavez, Lincoln, Marquette, Olson, Sennett Middle

2020: Midvale, Hawthorne, Mendota, Stephens, Toki Middle School

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