Choosing water

Clean water for Detroit students

The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and other philanthropic partners committed to replacing all of the drinking fountains in Detroit Public Schools Community District with hydration stations that filter out contaminants, just weeks after Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, Ed.D., shut down the old fountains because of elevated lead levels.

The DDF’s contribution funded the installation of 66 hydration stations at 14 schools.

David Boye, a sixth-grade teacher at Munger Elementary-Middle School, is confident the hydration stations will be a huge health and safety upgrade.

“Staff and students are already excited about getting the stations up and running,” he says.

Access to plentiful, clean drinking water throughout the school day helps students stay focused and energized. In addition, having convenient sources of clean drinking water at school encourages students to choose water over sugary drinks, which is great for teeth and bodies.

In the news:

Crain's Detroit Business- Detroit schools secures funding for water contamination solution

Joining forces to reduce sugar consumption

With a shared interest in keeping Michigan families healthy, the Delta Dental Foundation and the American Heart Association teamed up in 2018 on the Rethink Your Drink MI campaign.

The campaign was designed to increase awareness of the potential health consequences of sugary beverages, including hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, obesity and more. The campaign targeted households in Detroit, Grand Rapids and mid-Michigan, and included billboards, TV, radio and social media.

A kickoff event at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum had schoolchildren scoop 34 pounds of sugar into a wheelbarrow—the amount an average American consumes every year just from sugary drinks.

See the campaign at

The Rethink Your Drink MI campaign used social media to highlight popular sugary beverages.

Quenching thirst

The Rethink Your Drink: Water’s Cool at School program had another successful year.

The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) partnered with the Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) to commit $300,000 to install new hydration stations in 104 schools in Michigan. And the DDF invested $100,000 in Indiana for 23 schools.

Since the Water’s Cool at School launch in 2016, 133,761 students and staff in 219 schools across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are now benefiting from clean, cold, filtered water and water bottles donated by the DDF.

The DDF also committed to installing hydration stations in five community centers in Michigan and Indiana in 2018:

  • Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Impression 5 Science Center
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Longway Planetarium
    Flint, Michigan
  • Woldumar Nature Center
    Lansing, Michigan
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
    Indianapolis, Indiana

There’s plenty of water in the universe without life, but nowhere is there life without water.

—Sylvia A. Earle, american oceanographer and first woman to serve as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.