Delta Dental of Tennessee Awards Grants to 25 Middle Schools for New Water Bottle Filling Stations

Selected schools across the state will also receive toothbrushes for all students 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (February 22, 2022) – Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) today announced the 25 middle schools from across the state selected to receive “Water’s Cool @ School” grants to replace an existing water fountain with an Elkay bottle filling station. The grant program, first launched in 2020, aims to educate students on the benefits of drinking more water, as well as help make it more accessible during the school day. Schools are encouraged, but not required, to submit creative projects along with their grant applications that highlight how water is good for your health, what makes a healthy smile, or why the school needs a water bottle filling station.

“From musical numbers to detailed science fair-style posters and mystery-themed videos, students from across Tennessee found creative ways to make drinking water – which is often dismissed as boring and plain – exciting and fun,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO and president of Delta Dental. “We were so impressed by the grant applications and projects we received and appreciate the time and interest of every school that applied.”

In addition to their new bottle filling stations, all 25 selected schools will receive toothbrushes for students, faculty and staff. The Top 5 schools will also receive water bottles for every student, faculty and staff when their bottle filling stations are installed. Those Top 5 schools are:

Jasper Middle School (Jasper)
Munford Middle School (Munford)
North Parkway Middle School (Jackson)
Surgoinsville Middle School (Surgoinsville)
Northeast Middle School (Jackson)

View the full list of 25 grant recipients here.

To view the creative projects submitted by schools along with their Water’s Cool @ School grant applications, search #WatersCoolTN on social media. Highlights include this video, produced by Munford Middle School, of a day at school with no water styled as a horror film; these models of healthy and unhealthy smiles produced by an art class at Leadership Preparatory Charter School in Memphis; musical numbers from North Parkway Middle School in Jackson, Surgoinsville Middle School, and Jasper Middle School, and Northeast Middle School’s (Jackson) video about the importance of drinking water throughout the school day.

As part of the “Water’s Cool @ School” program, Delta Dental has produced oral health educational materials for students including activity sheets, games, posters, and demonstrations. Organized by grade level (K-2, 3-5, and 6-12), the free resources are available to download here.

To learn more about Delta Dental’s philanthropic work across Tennessee, visit their website.

Delta Dental of Tennessee

Delta Dental of Tennessee is the state’s largest independent dental benefits carrier with more than 1.4 million lives covered. As part of the Delta Dental Plans Association, Delta Dental of Tennessee members have access to the largest dental network in the nation with more than 154,000 providers serving more than 437,000 locations. With the simple mission of ensuring healthy smiles, Delta Dental of Tennessee works hard to help members of the communities it serves. Along with its corporate foundation, Smile180, Delta Dental of Tennessee donated more than $5.4 million in funding and in-kind services to over 130 organizations in 2021.