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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water | Youth Radio

        This multimedia resource can be used to educate students about the importance of safe drinking water to one's health, and the effectiveness a government law can have on everyday life. Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo reports on the new California state law that requires public schools to provide free access to fresh water. Quevedo investigates the condition of his school's water supply as well as local student opinions on this issue.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 1

        Mount Eden High School has a hydration station where students can fill reusable bottles with chilled, filtered water.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 2

        Al Schieder is the Director of Food Services for the Hayward Unified School District in California.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 3

        While sodas are banned from all school vending machines throughout California, energy drinks and juices are still widely available.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 4

        Tony Marks-Block coordinates a program at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, where high school students test for lead in samples from water fountains inside Oakland public schools.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 5

        Eighteen-year-old Nick Martinez is part of the lead-testing program. He said he found lead levels above EPA standards in water samples from his school. Martinez, a recent graduate of MetWest High School, said before testing the water himself, he'd never thought twice about the safety of his school’s water.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 6

        One sample collected before sterilizing the faucet showed trace amounts of a bacterium in the Micrococcus genus, a group that is usually disregarded in tests as a harmless skin contaminant.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 7

        Dr. Anisha Patel, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, said that studies have found links between cognition and hydration.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 8

        Darleen Franklin, a researcher in San Francisco State University's Biology Department, collected and tested 12 water samples from three San Francisco public schools for microorganisms.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 9

        Jessica Barrog, a senior at SOTA in California, claimed she would drink from the water fountains in her high school if she knew for a fact they were clean.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 10

        Gabriela Tully-Claymore, a senior at SOTA in San Francisco, avoids drinking from school fountains. "Apparently [they] have either some sort of lead or rust in them."

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 11

        Sayre Quevedo says of his school's water fountains: "you basically have to make out with the fountain in order to drink."

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 12

        At San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA), Principal Carmelo Sgarlato said he hadn't heard of the new California law, adding that any improvements to infrastructure would have to come from the district.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 13

        You can lead a kid to water, but it'll take more than a policy to get us to drink.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 14

        Youth Radio found that many students at SOTA in California don't trust their school's fountain water.

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        You Can Lead a Kid to Water: Image 15

        This sign tells students to run water before drinking, and school representatives say custodians across the district are advised to run fountains for 15 minutes each morning to purge the system.

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        Students Grossed Out By School Water Fountains (NPR)

        New California rules are meant to get school kids to drink fewer sugary drinks and more water. But many students don't want to drink out of their school water fountains because of rumors, things their mothers have said, or the appearance of water fountains. Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo investigates students' reasoning against water fountains and the condition of his own school's water.

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