Deadline next week – March 8th
Eighteen mini-grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded through the generous support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Initiative provides training, resources, and funding to assist Florida ESOL and family literacy programs to integrate health education into their instruction. The objective is to help students develop basic literacy and English language skills while gaining information to make informed choices regarding their health and nutrition.
Applicants must be nonprofit or government-based organizations providing adult ESOL and/or family literacy instruction in Florida. Services may be delivered via classes, small groups, and one-to-one tutoring. If you have any questions, please contact our Health Literacy Coordinator, Maribeth Buie, at 407-246-7110, ext. 209.
Click here for the grant application and guidelines.
Adult ESOL programs like ours at East and West Area Adult Schools in Auburndale and Lakeland, Florida serve students in many ways. Focusing on health literacy is one way that we can have a huge impact not just on our students, but on their families as well. As the head of the ESOL department at West Area, I knew we needed to improve the way we address health literacy in our program, because I have seen evidence of the gaps in students’ knowledge and know how dangerous that can be in their lives outside of the classroom. This could be when there’s an emergency situation, when they need to manage a chronic disease, or they need to see a medical professional but lack the skill to communicate with him or her in English.
The Health Literacy Grant we received from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida has been a huge help in our efforts to prepare our students to deal with health situations. We were able to purchase hands-on materials, visual aids, flip charts, and other items to help our students grasp these topics. We purchased a new text series called “Health Stories” that we are using to help our lower-level ESOL students learn more about health. We arranged training for twenty students in Adult CPR, and they received their certification. We gave out health promotion materials focusing on hand washing habits, finding ways to exercise, and steps to healthier eating. It has been a very positive experience for all of us, students and teachers alike, and we have all learned a lot in the process that will help us reach the goal of better health in the future.
ESOL Department Head
West Area Adult School (Polk County Schools)
For more information on Florida’s Health Literacy Initiative, please check out our website.
My name is Susan Warner and I am the Program Manager and Instructor for the New Beginnings Family Literacy Program in Bunnell, FL. Our program was chosen to be a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Heath Literacy Grant recipient. I chose to apply for the grant for a few different reasons, first because of the collaboration I have with a Family Nutrition Program Educator and realizing the importance of obesity prevention not only in adults but children as well. Mrs. Krista Busey facilitates classes twice per month and focuses on nutrition and meals on a budget. With the grant we have been able to expand upon that and have created box gardens which are located right outside of the back door of our program. We planted and maintained those crops and once they were ready to harvest we prepared low cost nutritional meals with the vegetables that we harvested. The families were also given the materials and supplies to create their very own recipe books. The recipe books are prepared much like a scrapbook with a lot of thought and personal touches that they will be proud to share with others and actually use at home for future meals. In addition to our project, we utilized the Staying Healthy curriculum, which was a great benefit. The families learned about calories, fiber, chronic diseases, and where to go for low cost medical care. Our project is continuing and we will begin to plant our next crop seeds very soon. This has been a very exciting project that all of the families enjoyed and learned from and we hope to keep it going for many more families in the future.
New Beginnings is a family literacy program designed to empower families to grow toward independence together.