FTC Receives Health Literacy Grant

FTC Receives Health Literacy Grant
Posted on 09/11/2020


September 10, 2020


Palm Coast, FL (September 10, 2020) – Flagler Technical College (formerly Flagler
Technical Institute) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a one-year, $5,000 grant for the implementation of a health literacy program to benefit its Adult General Education, ESOL, and Early Childhood Education students. Fourteen programs across the state of Florida have been awarded one-year, $5,000 grants for the implementation of a health literacy program to benefit their adult education, ESOL, and family literacy students.

These mini-grants, awarded by the Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Literacy Coalition, integrate health and nutrition information into the programs’ curriculum. The focus is to help students acquire the knowledge; literacy skills; and resources required to navigate the health care system and make informed health decisions. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health of our country, these skills continue to be essential

More than 19,000 students from programs throughout Florida have benefited from this Initiative since 2009.

There is a growing recognition among health care providers and adult educators around the country that limited English language and literacy skills can have a significant impact on one’s health.  According to the National Adult Assessment of Literacy, 14 percent of Americans  cannot comprehend basic health information. The study indicates that health illiteracy is especially prevalent among: 1) adults who did not complete high school, with 49 percent having below basic health literacy, and 2) foreign-born adults who speak English as their second language.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important for people to be informed about good health practices and available resources. People who lack literacy and health literacy skills are much more likely to use medications incorrectly, have at least one chronic disease, spend more time in the hospital, and are four times more likely to have poor health than people with higher health literacy skills. The potential for cost savings and improved health outcomes are significant. Adult education, literacy and family literacy programs can play an important role in helping people to acquire these skills.

“At Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation, our mission is to help people and  communities achieve better health,” said Susan Towler, vice president, Florida Blue Foundation. “By partnering with the Florida Literacy Coalition and supporting the Florida Health Literacy Grant Initiative, we are making an immediate impact to help people keep themselves and their families healthy during the pandemic, while creating sustainable change throughout our communities.

The Florida Health Literacy 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.

“The continued support of this Initiative reflects Florida Blue Foundation’s strong commitment to helping adult learners, many who are new to this country, become informed health advocates for themselves and their families,” said Greg Smith, executive director of the Florida Literacy Coalition. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Florida Blue and this year’s grant recipients to help adult learners throughout our state achieve better health through education.”

During the 2020 – 2021 academic year Flagler Technical College will deliver health literacy content consisting of, but not limited to, identifying and preventing household accidents, medication safety, nutrition, and healthy meal planning and preparation. Students in FTC’s Health Sciences and Early Education programs will create presentations, distribute visual aids, and develop project-based learning activities for FTC’s Adult General Education (ESOL, ABE, GED) students, parents, and children. In addition, this project will include the development of age appropriate health activities for FTC’s New Beginnings Daycare Center children.

“Learning how to navigate the health care system is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle,” said Renee Stauffacher, Director of Flagler Technical College. “We are excited to be able to implement this curriculum into our programs here at FTC. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently upon us, this grant is helping our students communicate with health care professionals not only for themselves, but also for their families and friends.”

More information is available on the Florida Literacy Coalition’s website at floridaliteracy.org For questions, please contact Heather Surrency at Surrencyh@Floridaliteracy.org .

About FTC:

Flagler Technical College (formerly Flagler Technical Institute) is your local resource for career and community education. FTC is the adult division of the Flagler County School District and accredited through the Council on Occupational Education (COE). FTC’s Career and Technical Education program focuses on high-demand trades to meet the business and industry needs in Flagler and surrounding counties. Students learn practical specialized skills from industry professionals in a personalized and hands-on learning environment. The college also partners with flagship programs in the county high schools to create a seamless transition from secondary to post-secondary education. GED and ESOL classes are offered through the Adult Education programs while providing an authorized Pearson Vue testing site to complete certifications and licensing. FTC’s Community Education and Resource programs offer community classes, summer camps, extended day programs, day care, and enrichment programs. FTC’s Step-Up program helps the adults with disabilities population lead meaningful and productive lives, explore their potential, develop a sense of community, and pursue independence and employment. For more information visit FTC’s website at www.flaglertech.edu

 About the Florida Literacy Coalition:

Established in 1985, The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) promotes, supports and advocates for the effective delivery of quality adult and family literacy services in the state of Florida. As a statewide umbrella literacy organization and the host of Florida’s State Literacy Resource Center, FLC provides a range of services to support more than 300 adult education, literacy and family literacy providers throughout Florida. Special emphasis is placed on assisting community based literacy organizations with their training and program development needs.

About Florida Blue Foundation

Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and rewarding best practices. More than three million people in Florida have received direct health services as a result of grants made to nonprofit organizations since our founding in 2001.
Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Foundation, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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