Encouraging children to drink more water during their school day has become a top priority for the Delta Dental Foundation, who has recently rolled out the Rethink Your Drink: Water's Cool at School Program.
According to the American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy™ website, drinking sugar-filled beverages can affect a child's oral health as well as their overall health (potentially leading to weight gain, and diabetes, to name just a few). That’s why Delta Dental has launched the Rethink Your Drink campaign. Through Rethink Your Drink, Delta Dental will distribute $100,000 among Michigan Schools who have applied for the grant to update their drinking water systems. The grant money each winning school receives will be used to upgrade their existing water fountains to Elkay water fountain/bottle filling stations. The grants cover the water fountain/bottle fillers themselves as well as installation costs of the new units, water bottles for all students and staff, and up to $750 to design and implement a campaign to encourage kids to drink more water.
Elkay’s local sales representative that is working with Delta Dental is Balfrey & Johnston. The folks at Balfrey & Johnston knew that when working with multiple locations, it can be difficult to find a trusted installer in all areas that can deal with the unique installation requirements for each particular school and who is familiar with the product, the manufacturer’s specifications, as well as local codes. They reached out to Elkay for help.
It just so happened that Elkay had recently launched a new national service specifically focused on making it easier to find a reliable installer for their drinking fountains and water bottle filling stations. Delta Dental became one of the first customers during the pilot phase of Elkay's Installation Services.
Elkay Installation Services' goal is to provide a one-stop shop for all things related to drinking water; from selecting the perfect unit that meets the needs of a facility, to making sure the unit is installed right and running smoothly. Elkay provides a team of licensed and insured installers to complete installation jobs when the customer may not have a trusted installer of their own. Elkay Installation Services turned out to be exactly what the Delta Dental - Rethink Your Drink program needed to get the new units installed as quickly and as seamless as possible in schools across the state of Michigan.
Elkay Installation Services turned out to be exactly what the Delta Dental - Rethink Your Drink program needed ...
Currently, 24 of the Delta Dental installations have been completed. The first Michigan school in the program to receive installation services was Okemos Public Montessori at Central; they received five bottle filling stations which were all installed in one day. In the very first month, the school dramatically increased water consumption while saving over 2,200 bottles with the Elkay bottle filling stations.
The remaining 23 jobs were completed over the course of 2 weeks, with each location receiving two bottle filling stations. Each location presented specific installation challenges that required a unique solution. For example, at one school, the units were being installed on a block wall where the drains could not be moved without knocking out a portion of the wall. Instead of moving the drains and tearing up the block, the Elkay installation team was able to build platforms below the unit to allow access to the existing drains and complete the installation.
Over 100 Michigan schools applied for a Rethink Your Drink grant. At this point, the winners have all been selected, and Elkay is continuing to help Delta Dental complete the installations. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program, Delta Dental is now talking about possibly expanding the campaign to other states. Elkay's Install Team is ready to go – to do their part to take healthy hydration to the next level, nationwide!