To help Florida’s diverse population make informed choices about their health and nutrition, the Florida Blue Foundation continued its support of the Florida Literacy Coalition for a seventh year by awarding 17 grants of $5,000 each on April 29 at the 31st Annual Florida Literacy Conference in Orlando. The grants support the Coalition’s Florida Health Literacy Initiative to advance health literacy for adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and family literacy programs across the state.
The Florida Health Literacy Initiative provides training, resources and funding to help Florida ESOL and family literacy programs integrate health education into their instruction. Results for this program, which earned the 2011 U.S. Council of Adult Literacy Award for program innovation and collaboration, have exceeded expectations both in the number of people served and student gains. Since 2009, this initiative has served more than 13,000 individuals in Florida, surpassing the initial goal of serving 2,200 adults and families over a three-year period. Last year alone, the program served 2,368 individuals in 17 Florida communities. Annual literacy assessment data indicated that 75 percent of students tested improved their health literacy. Approximately one-third of learners applied for or enrolled in one or more insurance plans (private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Florida KidCare).
“All adults need a sufficient level of health literacy to understand basic health information, access and navigate the health care system and make appropriate decisions about health,” said Florida Blue Foundation Vice President Susan Towler. “Through our partnership with the Florida Literacy Coalition, this initiative has made a significant impact. The majority of the learners improved their health related knowledge and comprehension, and began to engage in healthy lifestyle choices related to food and nutrition, exercise and community services for their own benefit and that of their families.”
The programs from across the state that each received a $5,000 grant are:
- Miami-Dade College – Hialeah campus
- Miami-Dade College – InterAmerican campus
- Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group
- Adult Literacy League, Inc
- El Sol-Jupiter's Neighborhood Resource Center
- DeSoto County Education Foundation, Inc.
- Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, Inc.
- Flagler County Schools
- Broward County Public Schools
- Literacy Council of Sarasota
- William H. Turner Technical Arts Adult School
- ECHO of Brandon
- Tallahassee Community College
- Parent Academy of St. Lucie
- Sarasota Family Young Men's Christian Association
- South Florida State College
- Collier County Housing Authority Land, Inc.
Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc. Florida Blue Foundation is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. The Foundation and its parent are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.floridabluefoundation.com.