Churchill's drinking water situation is about to get a whole lot better. A new initiative spearheaded by a Youth4Tap, a group of 30 to 40 students from all grades, is aiming to replace the schools old and awkward water fountains with several new state-of-the-art refillable water stations.
"It really made sense because installing these stations is something so simple that can be done. Because we live in Vancouver and the water quality is so great, it just doesn't make sense to pay for water," says Tesicca Truong, a grade 12 student at Churchill.
The new stations are designed to provide cool and crisp water to refillable water bottles. Youth4Tap organizers say they plan to sell reusable water bottles in the coming months to the student body.
Leann Buteau, one of Churchill's Vice Principals says the initiative was particularly timely due to the recent expiration of the school's vending contract.
"Water is such an important issue here at our secondary school," says Truong. "It really connects people. Despite the fact that it is a basic human right, people are still trying to sell it in vending machines."
Truong and her friend Alan Chen have been quarterbacking the fundraising drive to get the new stations. The teens were able to raise $1,100 through a youth funding grant from the Vancouver Foundation and an additional chunk of change from their school's PAC. Over the past year, they've managed to raise roughly $4,000. The money raised will be matched by Churchill Secondary's administrators who credit the youth for driving the way.
Buteau says that with the Youth4Tap money and matching Churchill funds, the school will be able to purchase two water stations.
The youth say the movement to phase in refillable water bottles isn't just limited to Churchill. They say they already have friends in Byng, Killarney and Magee who are interested in getting their own water stations set up. They say their next goal will be to create a district-wide Youth4Tap movement similar to Burnaby school district's policy.
For more stories about how the VSB is going green, click here.