New Bottle-Filling Station Grant Opportunity Open to All Tennessee Schools

Delta Dental of Tennessee’s “Water’s Cool @ School!” grant program will award 30 schools grants to upgrade an existing water fountain with a contactless bottle-filling station


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (October 3, 2022) – Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) today announced a new grant opportunity for schools to replace an existing water fountain with a contactless Elkay bottle-filling station through its Water’s Cool @ School program. While previous grant cycles have focused on elementary and middle schools, any Tennessee school serving students in grades K-12 is now invited to apply by the November 18 deadline. Delta Dental will ultimately award grants to 30 schools across the state.

Learn more about the grant program here.

Now in its third year, the Water’s Cool @ School grant program aims to help students understand the importance of drinking water, and to make it easier for students to do so during the school day. Research has found that about half of all school-age children are underhydrated and that 1 in 5 children do not drink any plain water during the day.

“Drinking more water is one of the best things and easiest things that you can do for your health, and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to help make that more accessible to schools and students across the state through the Water’s Cool @ School program,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “I’m a big believer that doing well allows us to do good, and Water’s Cool @ School has become one of my favorite ways we are able to give back at Delta Dental. Instilling healthy habits at a young age is so important.”

Across Tennessee, a total of 80 elementary and middle schools have received Water’s Cool @ School grants to date to upgrade their water fountains. To apply for a grant ahead of the November 18 deadline, interested schools should:

  • Visit for more information and to complete the online application.
  • Create a short video or other creative project highlighting how water is good for your health and teeth, why your school needs the bottle-filling station, or what makes a healthy smile.
  • Share that video on social media with the hashtag #WatersCoolTN and include a link with their grant application. A creative project is not required, but applications that do include one will be credited.
  •  Include photographs of the current water fountain that the school would like to replace, which will help inform the installation process for selected schools.

Schools are encouraged – but not required – to submit a creative project as a part of their grant application. For inspiration, schools can search #WatersCoolTN on social media to view previous project submissions. Select highlights from previous years include a viral rap song performed by teachers from Mt. Carmel Elementary School; a superhero-themed submission from Millington Elementary School; musical numbers from North Parkway Middle School in Jackson, Surgoinsville Middle School, and Jasper Middle School; a video from Thelma Barker Elementary School highlighting the health benefits of drinking more water, and a video, produced by Munford Middle School, of a day at school with no water styled as a horror film.

The 30 selected schools will receive a water bottle-filling station, including installation, and toothbrushes for all students. The top five schools will receive water bottles for all students, faculty, and staff members following installation. Grant announcements will be made in early 2023, and installations will be scheduled for spring 2023.

“Water’s Cool @ School” grant applications are open now through Friday, November 18, 2022, at

For more information about Delta Dental’s “Water’s Cool @ School” grant program, click here. To learn more about Delta Dental’s philanthropic work across Tennessee, visit the Smile180 Foundation website.


Delta Dental of Tennessee 
Delta Dental of Tennessee is the state’s largest independent dental benefits carrier with nearly 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.