What’s Right With Our Schools: Bess T. Shepherd Keeping Students Hydrated

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Water makes up more than half of our bodies. Depending on their age, children should drink anywhere from 4 to 11 cups a day. That’s hard to do when school water fountains are shut down due to Covid. Thankfully, local folks are stepping in to make sure Hamilton County Students stay properly hydrated.


Catherine Jenkins is the Marketing Director at Allied Eye.

She says, “I reached out to our administrative assistant Susan who works at Allied eye and she told me that she previously was a schoolteacher in Atlanta. So, that got me thinking why aren’t we doing more with our Hamilton County schools? The schools are struggling with water supply because of Covid; they’ve had to shut down their water fountains. I reached back out to our doctor, Dennis Matzkin and told him about what the Hamilton County schools were going through and he told me that we had a contact with the water company and that just kind of get the ball rolling. I went and reached out to Lipsey Water Company, and they so graciously have the water supply to donate and we implemented the water donation we’ve been completing this week. We are serving 21 schools in the Hamilton county area and that equates to 8000 students.”

Valerie Brown is the Principal at Bess T. Shepherd.

She explains, “This gift means the world to us, because we are constantly needing water. And for our students with the weather getting warmer, students need more than one bottle of water while they are here at school. We have seen it all year long, where we have had to supplement water for students who didn’t have any here at school. Parents have been trying to provide it. Sometimes kids forget to bring their water bottles even when parents get them ready for school for them. So, we are very appreciative of all of this water and now that is one worry that we will not have anymore.”

Keith Fogleman is the President of the Hamilton County Schools Foundation.

He says, “The Hamilton County schools foundation is supporting the school system. Some of the additional  needs that are above and beyond the general purpose fund that the school system receives. So, we will use this donation to help out the school district with their strategic plan. Such as literacy, great teachers great leaders. The money will be well used as we go forward and the remainder of the school year as well as planning for the next school year.”


Catherine concludes, “Our main goal is to just help our Hamilton County community, and we are so thankful that we were so able to help our students.”



Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools

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