Article by Ciara Mulcahy, Patrick Henry High School
Throughout the school day, they will be sitting on desks, brought to lunch, carried during class changes, stuffed into book bags and refilled by the school water fountains. Water bottles are everywhere in our local high schools.
The trend increases during warm weather and is encouraged by many sports coaches in order to prevent dehydration. Christian Blackwell, a freshman on the Patrick Henry cross country and varsity lacrosse teams said, “I bring bottled water to school because it is really important to stay hydrated for after-school sports.”
The benefits of water bottles have not always been available to students. In middle schools in the city of Roanoke, for instance, drinking from a water bottle during class requires a doctor’s note attesting to a health condition. But water bottles are permissible — and popular — at Patrick Henry High School. Ryan Jennings, a freshman, said, “I drink water mostly during lunch at school, and it keeps me awake.”
Salem High School recently changed its policy to allow water bottles in the classroom, while other food and drinks are still not allowed outside of the cafeteria. However, teachers have authority to choose not to allow bottled water in their classes, according to the school’s agenda book.
The new policy is good for students’ well-being and class flow, according to senior Jordan Waller.
“I definitely think it’s beneficial because I drink much more water now than I did before, and rather than leave and miss class to get water and wander the halls, I just fill it between classes,” she said.
Classic bottled water and Camelbak water bottles dominate the scene at both high schools.
“Camelbaks are my favorite. They are just convenient and come in so many different colors,” said Waller, who owns a pink-and-blue bottle.
The Camelbak Eddy generation includes a cylindrical BPA-free plastic body with a detachable straw, nipple and lid system for drinking. A variety of features are available, such as greater volume, different contour, sport/bike compatibility, filtration, glass or stainless steel material, insulation, purification, and even bottles decorated for kids.
Camelbak bottles can be found at several stores in Roanoke, including the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op; Bed, Bath & Beyond; and Fleet Feet Sports.