Many of our students come from families who have lots of children, very limited resources and have been confined to the city limits. Sometimes our students are the first to attend college in their family. I want to make their experience in their school years the best it could be.
It brings such joy to watch my students grow up and fulfill their dreams; They are positive, funny and kind-they lift each other up and help to teach their teachers quite a bit about life as well.
My resilient and amazing students show up at school every day, regardless of what is happening at home and in their neighborhoods, to excel in science and history, to rejoice in friendships they are making and learn life long skills to enable them to "fly". My students are a group of hard-working, talented kids that are striving to live their best possible life and grow up to be successful and happy adults.
Many of my students struggle upon arrival to school-dehydrated and hungry-focusing on classwork is difficult to do. My project is geared towards meeting the individual student's basic needs. If comfort and basic needs are fulfilled, then they can focus on learning while they are in school. I have endless student complaints of headaches during their school day. When I encourage my students to drink water, they state that they had "3 drinks (aka sips!) at the water fountain all day!" or "the water fountain is backed up and they won't drink from it today". Although they have limited access to water throughout their day, I believe that enabling them to carry a water bottle will promote hydration and eliminate many of the complaints of headaches and fatigue during their educational time.
Another challenge is keeping students in the class as well as keeping them hydrated.
We have 280 students in our school to share two water fountains. This means that the water fountains become student hang out spots and students spend an increased amount of time outside of their assigned classroom disengaged from learning. With individual water bottles, the students can fill up once or twice throughout their day and remain in class all while staying hydrated.
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