A dedicated group of Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS) students are inspiring their peers to drink more water, thanks to the new water bottle refilling stations they encouraged the district to purchase. Their contagious passion for inspiring their peers to take healthy initiatives has resulted in a corporate partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital, who is providing water bottles for their new "Green Machine" club to sell.
Students in the MVHS Developmental Reading 2 class began a class project to research MVHS water usage with the focus on water bottle refilling stations. The class was broken into four groups: water bottle filling station product, fundraising, locations at MVHS, and costs.
As part of their class project, the student body of MVHS completed a survey which stated that over 50% would be willing to purchase a water bottle for $5. The class intends to partner with other student body organizations to sell the water bottles in February.
Donning their new “Green Machine” shirts, the class fearlessly presented their findings to Dr. Tim Long, Director of Operations, and Mrs. Maria Bond, Director of Community Relations. Due to the class’s passion and initiative to broaden students’ health awareness, Dr. Long shared that Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) will purchase five water bottle filling stations, and have two installed by February (near room A109 and by the auditorium). These RetroFit Kits transform an existing water fountain into a water bottle filling station with a standard water fountain.
The class project evolved into the concept of selling quality Tritan plastic (non-BPA) water bottles for their classmates to use at these water filling stations. After the presentation, Mrs. Bond shared that there are companies who would support their healthy initiatives and might be willing to partner with them. The following week, the class presented to the Hancock Regional Hospital’s Marketing Director, Ms. Jenn Cox.
Ms. Cox stated, “Your class is ahead of the curve; you are innovators who are ahead of your time. You realize the importance of health and wellness in your everyday lives. Hancock Regional Hospital has a healthy initiative for Hancock County to become a wellness-centered county. This ‘Healthy 365’ initiative’s goal is to provide motivation for a healthier Hancock County and to become the healthiest county in Indiana. Drinking more water is just one component of our initiative. Hancock Regional Hospital is proud to partner with Mt. Vernon to provide water bottles for the youth of this community.”
Cox also shared that the Hancock Regional Hospital will sponsor/purchase the high-quality water bottles for the "Green Machine" club to sell. The team will begin selling the "Marauder Water" and "Healthy 365" water bottles for $5 each on Tuesday, January 31 during lunch. The team will be wearing their new "Green Machine" club shirts that MVCSC purchased in support of their efforts.
After many practices, the class next presented their findings to the MVCSC School Board of Trustees at their meeting on December 19, 2016. The members of the School Board of Trustees all stated they were impressed with their presentation and their passion to implement this healthy initiative for their classmates to drink more water, and asked when they could buy one of their water bottles.
MVHS Teacher, Mrs. Cindy Smith, stated, “It’s been my pleasure leading and guiding this group of students through this project-based learning. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see students learning and growing right before your eyes. Students said they never thought it would go this far and that they each have found they could accomplish something they previously never thought they could do. This is evident in their final essays they submitted.”
Smith continued, “Secondly, on behalf of these students, I want to share that we are all deeply touched by the level of support from MVCSC administration and school board members. Your genuine interest in each of them helped them find the courage to share their passion.”
The Developmental Reading 2 class is no longer in session, however these students plan to continue their “Green Machine” club into the second semester. This new healthy initiatives club will have a broad reach of motivating students to become more healthy, beginning with drinking more water.