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.