Fla. (September 27, 2013) – Tallahassee Community College has received a $5,000
grant from Florida Blue and the Florida Literacy Coalition. The grant will
enable TCC to integrate health and nutrition into the English as a Second or
Other Language (ESOL) courses it offers to adults in Gadsden and Leon counties.
The goal is to help these students and their families gain the information and
skills they need to navigate the healthcare system and make informed health
English language and literacy skills can have a significant impact on one’s health.
The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy report found that health
literacy is especially low among adults who did not complete high school and among
Hispanic adults, who have lower health literacy than any other ethnic/racial
group. Low health literacy costs between $106 and $236 billion a year in longer
hospital stays, emergency room visits, increased doctor visits and increased
medication, according to a recent report from the University of Connecticut.
of this initiative reflects Florida Blue’s commitment to helping adult
learners, many of whom are new to this country, become informed health
advocates for themselves and their families,” said Greg Smith, executive
director of Florida Literacy Coalition. “We look forward to working together
with TCC to raise awareness about health literacy.”
incorporating health literacy instruction in its ESOL classes at both the Tallahassee
campus and the Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) Migrant Education
Program in Quincy, Florida. Lessons are based on the “Staying Healthy”
curriculum provided by the Florida Literacy Coalition and include field trips,
guest speakers and hands-on and technology-based activities. Topics include
choosing the correct health facility, preventative health, nutrition, finding
and communicating with a doctor, how to understand medicines, living with chronic
diseases such as diabetes and finding answers to common health problems.
The College piloted the program on the main TCC
campus in summer 2013 with nine students. It is now being fully implemented
with 16 students at TCC
and 26 at PAEC. Harriett Abrams, the project director, anticipates serving
another 25 students at each location in spring 2014.
that the Florida Blue Health Literacy Initiative will provide life-long
benefits to adult English learners, their families and our community,” said
Kimberly Moore, TCC’s vice president for workforce development.
TCC was one
of 17 recipients selected for the fourth grant year of this statewide
initiative. Among the other recipients is Literacy Volunteers of Gadsden
information, contact Kristina Finch at (850) 201-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.