Tennyson High School students can now fill their bottles with chilled, filtered water at a new water station.

Members of the Hayward school's Wellness Council pushed for the station to encourage students to stay hydrated.

The water station has two drinking fountains, and a bottle filler that electronically displays how many water bottles have been filled at the station each month.

"This was a student-led initiative to get students to stop drinking sodas and energy drinks and instead drink water," said Tennyson assistant principal Wentworth Houston.

The school has traditional water fountains, but sometimes they are broken or are slow, Houston said. Students are drawn more to the attractive new station, he said.

Free water bottles were handed out at Wednesday's unveiling of the station. Assemblyman Bill Quirk sent the students an Assembly Certificate of Recognition congratulating them for recognizing a problem and coming up with a solution.

The students were advised by Alameda County Office of Education's Project EAT program, which aims to end health inequalities in county schools. "Drinking a healthy amount of water every day is just as important to student success as a healthy diet," said Sheila Jordan, Office of Education superintendent.

New superintendent meets community

Berkeley's new schools superintendent, Donald Evans, will host a series of meetings this month and next to meet the community.

On Sept. 26 Evans will be at McGee Avenue Baptist Church, 1640 Stuart St., at 6 p.m. in a reception hosted by Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action.

He's also hosting three town hall meetings:

On Oct. 8 he'll be at Frances Albrier Community Center at 2800 Park St.; on Oct. 10 Evans will be at Rosa Parks Elementary School at 7 p.m., 920 Allston Way; and on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. he will be at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1781 Rose St.

San Leandro school play sets still closed

Elementary students in San Leandro are more than a month into the new school year and they still have no play sets to enjoy.

New play structures were installed at each of the eight elementary campuses this summer, but district officials discovered two of them were installed poorly, and installation of the rubber fall zone needed to be completed on the others.

Officials previously estimated the structures would be off-limits to students for three to four weeks.

"The elementary play structures are closed," Superintendent Mike McLaughlin said in an email Wednesday. "The contractor is close to finishing some of them and we hope to have them all completed in the next few weeks."

African-American voices in spotlight

The HistoryMakers,¿ an organization that archives African-American oral history on video, is hosting a back-to-school program Sept. 27 at five schools featuring prominent Bay Area African-American role models.

Scientist Hattie Carwell will speak to kids at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School where the program will go from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; UC Berkeley professor Gibor Basri will be at Lafayette Elementary School from 8:45 to 11 a.m.; UC Berkeley professor Jewelle Taylor Gibbs will be at Oakland Unity High School 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; journalist Brenda Jones Payton will be at Markham Elementary School from 9 to 10:15 a.m.; and professor William Lester will be at 100 Black Men of the Bay Area Community School from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information on HistoryMakers, go to www.historymakers.com.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in Alameda County.