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The Great Gulp

Promoting and Celebrating tap Water in Peel

What is The Great Gulp?

The Great Gulp is a whole-school celebration to raise awareness about access to safe and healthy tap water in Peel.

During the month of March schools are invited to take part in ‘The Great Gulp’ by organizing a school-wide, synchronized drink of tap water.

The event, along with additional tap water activities, creates a memorable learning experience where students have the opportunity to learn about tap water in Peel.

All participating schools are entered into a draw to win a tap water refill station.

Register your school now for the 2019/2020 school year.

School Activities – Making the most of Your Experience

Participating in The Great Gulp is a fun way to spark awareness about tap water. Create an even larger splash with the sample activities listed below. Combining your Great Gulp celebration with these activities can also earn your school points towards Ontario EcoSchools certification.

  1. Teach about water using the online Peel Water Story modules: Use these interactive, map-based lessons and accompanying handouts to learn about sources of drinking water and the extensive underground system to move water and wastewater. NEW
  2. Watch a video about water and indigenous perspectives: Water is life. Learn about the indigenous perspective on water and its importance. 
  3. Already have a water refill station with a counter? Track your monthly diversion rates starting now.  Aim for greater diversion from March to June.
  4. Let water move you: Come up with your best dance moves to show how water makes you feel and post on twitter using #thegreatgulp. 
  5. Pledge posters: Use our pledge posters to reduce the number of single use water bottles your class brings to school.  If there are students in your class that do not have a reusable water bottle, please contact watersmartpeel@peelregion.ca  
  6. Social Media: Create a social media campaign about tap water. Focus on why you like to drink it. Track the reach of you campaign by recording how many like or retweets you get. 
  7. Take the ’30 Day tap water challenge’: Challenge your school to a one-month contest to see which class has the best participation in using reusable bottles filled with tap water.
  8. Decorate the school fountain: Create a mural or posters that say ‘I love my tap water’ to adorn the wall around the fountain and raise awareness of the benefits of tap water.
  9. Set up a tap water sampling station: Let students sample the cool refreshing taste of tap water. Add limes, lemons, or strawberries to make it extra tasty.
  10. Compare the nutritional difference. Take a look at the sugar content of drinks such as chocolate milk, pop, fruit juice, and sport drinks. Create a visual display to show how much sugar is added in each drink. Check out SipSmart!TM Ontario poster: How Much Sugar is in your Drink
  11. Health Benefits of Tap Water. Compare the effects of water on teeth vs sugar filled drinks on teeth.
  12. Student reusable water bottle tracking sheet. Post a tracking sheet and use it to monitor the how many students bring a reusable water bottle to school. Contact your schools Public Health Nurse to learn more about this campaign.
  13. Apply for BrightBites badges to enter in Hall of Fame! Achieve recognition for all the water related activities done in your school! Schools or classrooms can apply for Water Promotion badge or SipSmart!™ badge (grades 3-7). Visit www.brightbites.ca

The Great Gulp Prize Winners

In 2020, 20,008 students across 46 Peel schools participated in the Great Gulp. This year was different, as many schools and families came together virtually to celebrate tap water. It was nice to see the creative social media posts celebrating tap water in Peel.

Thanks to all the schools that participated in Great Gulp throughout the years.

See below for this year's winners and some highlights from their campaigns.

2020 Winners

  • Royal Orchard Middle School
  • Great Lakes Public School
  • Holy Family Catholic School
  • Metropolitan Andrei Catholic School


Here is just a sample of how schools were creative in their celebration of the Great Gulp this year. Due to school closures, many staff and students still managed to get creative celebrating The Great Gulp virtually.

Royal Orchard Middle School got creative this year and celebrated Great Gulp with a school wide announcement.

McDougald Public School got really creative and celebrated The Great Gulp virtually. Now that’s a toast to Tap Water!

Holy Family Catholic school in Bolton celebrated the Great Gulp by enjoying a Toast to Tap Water.

St. Aidan

Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School celebrating Great Gulp front stage!

2019 Winners

  • Silver Creek Public School
  • Larkspur Public School
  • Holy Cross Separate School
  • St. John Boscoe School


Please join us in recognizing the following schools in their efforts to celebrate/make the most of the event.

St. Aidan

St. Aidan school celebrated the Great Gulp with a school wide assembly where the Healthy Eating and Active Team shared water facts with the school and led all students in a school wide countdown to the Great Gulp. Each class participated in a Water Quiz leading up to the event to get students thinking and excited about drinking water.

Whitehorn Public School

Whitehorn Public School where every student and staff member took a Big Crunch on a Gala Apple and a Great Gulp from an eco-friendly water bottle to 'model' their healthy living actions thanks to a grant of $1000 from Metro Foods and our very own eco-friendly water bottles!! Way to go Whitehorn!

Cardinal Newman

In preparation for our Great Big Gulp, Team Halo (Healthy Active Leaders of Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School) encouraged their school community to continue drinking water from their reusable water bottles. Students participated in announcements, posters with water facts, water audit check to see how many students were bringing in their water bottles as well as water liturgy and a school-wide assembly.

John Cabot

John Cabot Secondary School held a tap water taste test, education sessions led by students about tap water vs. bottled water, lunch time “Kahoot” to confirm learning where students could win a reusable water bottle for most correct answers, and Gr 12 International Business class working on The Great Gulp events for the school (researching, marketing, etc.).

2018 Winners

  • Edenbrook Hill Public School
  • Burnt Elm Public School
  • St. Rose of Lima
  • St. Valentine

2017 Winners

  • James Grieve
  • Homelands Senior Public School
  • St. Joachim Catholic School
  • St. Andre Bassette

2016 Winners

  • Levi Creek Public School
  • Lorne Park Public School
  • San Lorenzo Ruiz
  • St. Catherine of Sienna

Revised: Thursday May 14 2020

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