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Can I Get a Drink of Water?: Water Assessment in Cleveland Public Schools
 PRCHN water fountain audit: broken fountain
A broken fountain covered by a filled trashed can.
During spring semester, the PRCHN sent a team of interns out on a unique data collection project. Their mission? To visit every Cleveland Municipal School District (CMDS) building to look at water accessibility by observing the school water fountains. The project was developed by the city of Cleveland’s Healthy Cleveland Initiative. With 2015 deemed the year of clean water, Healthy Cleveland wanted to take a look at clean water accessibility in Cleveland's public schools and recreation centers. The intern team went into 80 buildings and observed close to 700 water fountains.

In addition to the water assessment, the interns simultaneously observed physical activity spaces (both indoor and outdoor) associated with each public school building. This observation was completed as part of a larger cataloging community assets in the hope that shared-use/joint-use agreements can be established in the future as a way to increase opportunities for physical activity for neighborhood residents. The initiative is a strategy under the REACH grant.

Intern Sahil Bharwani was part of the assessment team and has analyzed the data in order to share it with stakeholders. Of his work on the project he says:

“This experience has been enlightening for a variety of reasons. When I visited the schools to collect data, I had a chance to interact with the community, and often times they would give me information that would otherwise not be captured by the tool. Their insight was invaluable and one of the more enjoyable aspects of working on this project. By visiting all the different schools in CMSD, I felt more in tune with Cleveland than ever before. I have seen the different neighborhoods and got to speak with residents of the specific communities. This experience has given me a perspective on the city I never even considered.

 Trough fountain
Old-fashioned trough water fountain. 
Processing and disseminating the information has also been quite the learning experience. I learned a variety of methods to process and verify the data—skills I plan on applying to future projects. I also learned about the role the PRCHN plays in the community and how we work with other organizations to affect change in the larger Cleveland Community. Currently, both projects are being analyzed for statistical trends and other telling information. Preliminary results have been shared with interested parties, and further results will be made available when they are completed.”
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