Students take monthlong ‘Sodabriety’ pledge to cut sugar intake

MICHIE, Tenn. — Students at Michie Elementary School sign a pledge Monday morning to change their sugar intake.

“You are going to pledge to drink one less sugary drink a day just for a month,” Cherish McGee said.

McGee has been working with the Tennessee Clean Water Network to put filtered water systems throughout the school.

“They actually keep up with how many bottles you’ve used, how often your filters have to be replaced, so it’s really showing the kids you can make healthy choices,” McGee said.

Students say these fountains make it easier to fill up. “It’s easier to use than the last one we had because you just stick your bottle under the filter and it pours water,” student Macy Brown said.

“It’s been part of their science curriculum, as far as talking about conservation and recycling,” Michie School Principal Matt Alred said. “It’s been a holistic approach to choices they’ve been making and reaching into a lot of different avenues for them.”

Teachers said with the students staying hydrated, it seems to be improving test scores.

The school estimates they’ve saved thousands of plastic water bottles.

“For every 20 ounces, the ticker will change. We are up to 3,835 on this particular unit,” McGee said. “We’ve saved probably 9,000 bottles since August of last year.”

Each school who earned the grant received at least two filtration systems, but Michie has replaced all of them at the school.