MINOT, N.D. – Water fountains were one of many parts of everyday life impacted by the pandemic. Due to their high-touch manner, schools in the area followed CDC and state guidance and shut them down, leaving water bottle filling stations to be the only option for students.
According to Minot Public School facilities director Jared Edwards, the district has around 30 to 40 water bottle filling stations.
The district does have plans to increase the number of stations, but due to demand, the schools will have to wait.
Minot Public Schools has been adding the stations to the older schools that do not already have them. However, kids do not always bring water bottles, and sometimes they forget or do not have the access to one.
It all started when MPS parent Hiedi Spang started receiving weekly letters reminding parents to pack a water bottle for their kids.
“Saying please send a water bottle. The kids need water bottles. The fountains are not on you know that kind of thing due to COVID,” said Spang.
On average, elementary school-aged children need around 5-8 cups of water a day, according to Web MD.
Spang said that she understands sometimes kids forget.
“I just don’t feel like the teachers have to foot the bill so, it’s kind of made me ask the question, like, what can we do to help the teachers out like that, so they don’t be buying cups for kids all the time,” said Spang.
That’s where local business owner Dani Reichenberger stepped in.
“Anything we can do to help them out during this time would be great for them and make their lives a little bit easier,” said Reichenberger, who is donating hundreds of plastic cups to John Hoeven Elementary.
“The teachers were so grateful. Then obviously I posted it on Facebook to try to get other people to do the same thing and it just kind of took off,” said Reichenberger.
That post reaching all the way to Velva, where fourth grade teacher Kylene Kraft responded.
“I think it was really a great out of the box kind of thinking on Buffalo Wild Wings part and I know that there are many teachers and students who appreciate that,” said Kraft.
Helping teachers and students across the community.
In the coming weeks, Dani will have cups for Longfellow, South Prairie, North Shore Plaza, and TGU. She is encouraging other small businesses to reach out to schools and see if they can help in any way.