JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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 an eighth year by awarding 15 grants totaling almost $75,000 at the 32nd Annual Florida Literacy Conference in St. Petersburg. 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 Blue Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to the program since 2009.
The Florida Health Literacy Initiative provides training, resources and funding to help Florida ESOL and family literacy programs integrate health education into their instruction. The objective is to teach students English language and literacy skills necessary to enable adult learners and their families to access and navigate the health care system, including available services and other health resources.
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 in health literacy knowledge gained by students. Since 2009, this initiative has served more than 14,000 individuals in Florida, surpassing the initial goal of serving 2,200 adults and families over a three-year period. Last year, the program served more than 3,000 individuals in 17 Florida communities. Annual literacy assessment data indicated that 75 percent of students tested improved their health literacy, with a 22 percent average increase in performance. Most students made gains in health literacy and began to engage in healthy lifestyle choices including food and nutrition, general health issues, exercise, communication skills, going to the doctor, medicines, and community services for their own benefit and that of their families.
"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. At Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation, we value our community partners and know that by continuing to work together, we can make real, positive changes in the lives of Floridians and communities across Florida."
The programs from across the state that each received up to a $5,000 grant are:
Adult Literacy League
Community Health Centers of Sarasota County
DeSoto County Education Foundation, Inc.
El Sol Jupiter's Neighborhood Resource Center
Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales
Flagler County Schools
Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group, Inc.
Learn to Read of St. Johns County
Literacy Council of Sarasota
Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus
Miami Dade College, InterAmerican Campus
Parent Academy of St. Lucie County
Sarasota Family YMCA
United Food Bank of Plant City
William Turner Technical Arts Adult Education Center
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.
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SOURCE Florida Blue Foundation