(08/19/20) MONROE, La. — To ensure that students stay hydrated while water fountains are off limits due to the pandemic, a water bottle drive for Monroe City Schools is being hosted by the LSU AgCenter, Ouachita Parish Healthy Communities Coalition and Monroe City Schools.
“Due to COVID-19 precautions, students will not be able to use the water fountains at school, but we all know how important it is to stay hydrated,” said Cathy Agan, LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent. “Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can help students focus and stay healthy. The Ouachita Parish Healthy Communities Coalition wants to ensure that every student has that opportunity by having a refillable water bottle that they can bring to school.”
The drive is calling for donations of new, unused, refillable water bottles. The drive will continue until water bottles are secured for all students in need of one.
“During this time when students and parents have to adjust to a ‘new normal,’ we all need to work together to support our families and school administrators who are working hard to address the safety needs of students,” said Ellen Hill, Planning and Urban Development Department director with the City of Monroe. “This is our small contribution to help families feel safe as they send their kids back to school.”
The City of Monroe has donated about 750 water bottles so far and plans to donate 2,500 more from the United States Census Bureau. United Healthcare also has donated 100 water bottles along with washable masks and hand sanitizer.
The Monroe City School District includes 19 schools, all of which provide free meals to students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). CEP is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas.
Donations can be dropped off at the LSU AgCenter office at 704 Cypress St. in West Monroe on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Arrangements also can be made to bring donations directly to Stephanie Weaver at the Monroe City School Board Child Nutrition Program office located at 2101 Roselawn Ave. in Monroe.
Water bottles donated for students at Monroe City Schools. Photo by Markaye Russell/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture