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

Richard Cannings re-elected in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

It was a close race with Conservative challenger Helena Konanz

Filling the void; Success story for Kootenay-to-Kelowna bus service

Trail-based bus line took over the Kelowna run after Greyhound Canada put a stop to it

Update: Trail Smoke Eaters lose goaltender Buskey to WHL

WHL Raiders deal rights of Smoke Eaters goalie Donovan Buskey to Regina Pats

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VicPD return Victoria fugitive from France for attempted murder trial

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Video: Meet your South Okanagan–West Kootenay candidates

Candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Most Read