About 300 re-usable water bottles have been purchased for students at Alexander Elementary School to use after the school decided on a water-only to drink program. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Vancouver Island school says ‘no’ to pop and juice

Water is the only option for thirsty students during this trial run at an elementary school in Duncan’s Cowichan Valley.

Officials at Duncan’s Alexander Elementary school on Vancouver Island have sent a notice home to parents saying the school will no longer allow pop, iced tea, juice or energy drinks.

The school has gone water-only, after a successful experiment that saw staff and students consume more than 2,000 litres of water towards the end of the last school year. Instead, the school’s parent advisory group has donated new re-usable water bottles.

“We definitely support it,” said school PAC co-chair Sarah Byrne. “I’m pretty sure we ordered 300 water bottles so that we could give one to every student that was coming and then have a few leftover for any sports teams and stuff,” she said.

Superintendent Rod Allen said the district is “fully supportive” of what the school is doing, “and we wouldn’t be surprised if other schools are going to be watching to see how it goes.”

He noted School District 79 (Cowichan Valley) is working to provide all its schools with at least one water bottle filling station.

“We’re certainly supportive of initiatives that promote good health and nutrition for our students and staff,” Allen said. “We’re not aware of any other schools in our district who are doing a water-only school initiative like Alexander Elementary, but many of our schools have incorporated elements of a healthy lifestyle in their schools.”

For example, school meal programs focused on providing a balanced meal.

“We work with a local nutritionist to support talking to kids about nutrition. And many schools are encouraging students to have healthy lunches, healthy snacks, limiting their sugar intake, etcetera, through awareness and education.”

While school officials were praising the move, Facebooker’s reactions were mixed about the idea.

Some were moderately supportive, while others were vehemently opposed.

The notice that went out to parents did note, however, the move is only a trail run and will be reevaluated at a later time.

“We will try this out for a little while, and see how we do,” it said. “We are looking forward to seeing our learners continue to make healthy choices!!!”

Other commenters also pointed out this initiative takes away the ability for kids to choose for themselves, something that could deter them later on in life.

Canada’s Childhood Obesity Foundation advocates for no sugary drinks and information on its website notes: “Children at risk of becoming overweight or obese include children who consume food and drinks that are high in sugar and fat on a regular basis such as fast food, candy, baked goods, and ESPECIALLY pop and other sugar-sweetened beverages.”

Just Posted

Students show focus in annual Elementary School Cross-country Ski races

Students age five to 12 competed at Hallis Lake on Feb. 17

Quesnel Hospital Auxiliary always busy and put in 12,000 volunteer hours in 2017

Winter can be a time of quiet reflection on the past and where we are today

Fly Bouchie Air: fourth Lawnchair Travel Series at Bouchie Lake Hall

Bring your own lawn chair, come in costume if you want and enjoy

Quesnel gymnast Bianca Thompson tumbling her way to B.C. Winter Games

A member of Technics Gymnastics Club and Quesnel Junior School teams, Thompson will represent Zone 8

B.C. Liberals’ Ben Stewart wins Kelowna-West byelection

Stewart ran away from other candidates to reclaimed his former constituency

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Northern B.C. short 121 registered nurses: report

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

WATCH: Vancouver Island family builds eight-foot igloo in their yard

Sunday snowfall on the mid-Island leads to all-day family activity

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Trial date delayed in case of slain Victoria sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Most Read