Students celebrate good health, new water station at Dr. Levesque Elementary School
FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Students at Dr. Levesque Elementary School are all about being healthy. The children celebrated healthier drinking habits on Friday when the Aroostook County Action Program hosted a ‘Splash Party’ to unveil a new water filling station/drinking fountain at the school.
Drinking water instead of sugary sodas is part of the message of the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go program promoted in The County by ACAP in partnership with the Aroostook County Health Network.
The Let’s Go! program is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention initiative that encourages children to eat five or more fruits and vegetables each day, limit recreational screen time to two hours or less, get one hour or more of physical activity, and consume zero sugary drinks.
Friday’s party took place during one of five wellness days the school holds annually and included a full day of activities such as volleyball, kickball, jump-roping and a ‘Recess Rocks’ dance session during which all of the students gathered in the gymnasium to dance in unison.
As part of the festivities, ACAP provided students with water bottles that they can refill at the station while at school.
“The school’s wellness policy allows kids to drink water throughout the day in class (by using the water bottles) so they can easily get 8 cups a day of water,” said Aroostook County 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go! community educator Katharine Putnam. “This will allow them to increase water consumption and decrease consumption of sugary sweet beverages and milk products.”
Lisa Bernier DLES, principal and SAD 33 superintendent said the school has been involved in the 5-2-1-0 program for six years now.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” she said. “Every year we grow and now that we have added the water fountain it is one more step in our growth toward becoming well-balanced citizens. It is important to work hard academically but physically also; we have to take care of our bodies.”
Jason Parent, the executive director of ACAP, also attended the celebration at the elementary school.
“We work throughout Aroostook County to help achieve better health status’ and better health outcomes so this is relevant to our mission to create healthy communities,” he said. “By working at the elementary school level we create healthy communities throughout Aroostook County.”
Frenchville town manager Ryan Pelletier, a board member for ACAP and a parent of two DLES students, also attended the Splash Party.
“ACAP is an agency that truly cares about our community members,” he said. “I think the new water stations installed and the 5-2-1-0 wellness programs at our schools are a true testament to how ACAP is dedicated to ensuring the complete well-being of our children. I have a 5-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son who attend Dr Levesque Elementary School and I thought it was awesome to see them dancing and having fun today.”