Florida Health Literacy Initiative

2012-13 Florida Health Literacy Initiative Recipients

Florida Literacy Coalition is proud to partner with Florida Blue to make available targeted grants to promote health literacy. The goal is to provide health-education resources for local adult English for Speakers of Other Languages and family literacy programs so that students in these programs can make informed choices about their health and nutrition.

FLC is very proud of the projects that 2009, 2010 and 2011 grant programs have completed. Project-based learning is a power activity that engages and empowers students to utilize the information they learned in the classroom and apply it in a larger context.

During the 2011-2012 grant year:

New Beginnings (Flagler County Schools)
 coordinated with a local elementary school to plant, maintain, and harvest a vegetable garden. They used the fresh produce in healthy recipes and developed their own cookbook.

Students from Motivational Edge created and produced a rap regarding health knowledge and nutrition.

S.B. Idea developed a reference book about the health knowledge they learned and provided sample dialogues between providers and their patients.

Students from Florida State College at Jacksonville took favorite recipes, made healthy substitutions, and gathered to share them.

East and West Area Schools (Polk County Educational Foundation) created meal plans in small groups and included new healthy recipe options.

Here are some ideas you can do for a health literacy project at your organization!

  • Host a health fair, block party, or community bazaar partnering with community organizations to provide Body Mass Index education, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol checks, diabetes information, nutrition guidelines, etc.
  • Partner with an elementary school to grow a vegetable garden.
  • Have students make favorite family recipes using healthy ingredients, and develop a recipe book. Host a food tasting; get students to develop daily/weekly healthy menus to post on YouTube.
  • Invite the medical/safety community to present to the class: a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a WIC representative, a diabetes specialist, a massage therapist, CPR affiliate, fire department, hospital.
  • Partner with a local gym to offer free short-term memberships to students with the possibility of scholarship assistance later on; invite a Zumba/aerobics instructor to create a fun video to distribute.

 

SB Idea and Financial Literacy

Hello, my name is Adriana Alvarez and I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for S.B. Idea, Inc (SBI). SBI is a non-profit organization that runs family literacy academies in Palm Beach County, Florida with a mission to: “empower families academically and economically for self-sufficiency”.  April is not only Volunteer Month but also Financial Literacy Month and as a part of my yearlong service, I am implementing a financial literacy component into the family literacy curriculum.

Although I have no skills training with financial literacy, my parents instilled in me the importance of good financial habits, and how developing good financial habits can lead you to achieve various goals in your life, such as owning a home. Financial literacy is so important to the economic success of a family. I consider achieving the goal of implementing a financial literacy component as the most important of my VISTA commitments. In order to achieve this, I have helped SBI partner up with many useful resources in the community. SBI welcomed VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) representative and Senior Tax Consultant for the IRS, Shanana Bartolomei, into our academies to give a workshop on the importance of filing your taxes and how to get them filed for free.

SBI also partnered with PNC Bank, who is sending representatives to do a variety of workshops with our adult students as well as their children. PNC Bank currently runs a program titled “S” is for Savings”, in which PNC has partnered with Sesame Street to develop a child-friendly program in order to get children thinking about good financial habits, and to also get parents more involved in developing good financial habits with their children. I will be working closely with PNC representative from our local Lantana and Jog Branch to continue giving workshops on useful topics such as “How to get out of Debt”.

By the end of the school year I will assist our program mentor in giving an in-service workshop to our current teaching staff on how to implement financial literacy into their already existing curriculum. This will ensure that financial literacy becomes a staple in the learning achieved at the SBI family literacy academies.

As I have been experiencing this journey, I have found three easy and useful things everyone should consider when developing good financial habits:

1) Pay Yourself First. Having a savings account or an emergency fund can always help with life’s bumpy roads.
2) Know The Difference Between Needs And Wants. Understanding and accepting this difference makes developing good financial habits easier
3) The Power of Interest. Most financial institutions will stress the power of interest both negatively, when your paying interest on debt, and positively, when your earning money for doing nothing.