Fifteen health literacy and family-oriented programs across Florida will enjoy a boost from the Florida Blue Foundation with nearly $75,000 in grants promised at the recent 32nd Annual Florida Literacy Conference held in St. Petersburg.
The conference, held May 4-6 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, revealed that 15 Florida organizations will receive up to $5,000 apiece.
The Florida Health Literacy Initiative strives to help English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs include health education in their curricula, with an emphasis on giving English learners access to the vocabulary they will need to navigate the health care system — not unlike a tourist asking for directions in a foreign country.
Florida Literacy Coalition, headquartered in Orlando, ensures that with the right tools, non-native English speakers can gain basic literacy skills to permit them to handle paperwork, schedule care appointments or tests, and other procedures as necessary.
"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," Florida Blue Foundation VP Susan Towler said. "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."
Grant recipients include the 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 and William Turner Technical Arts Adult Education Center.
Florida Blue Foundation comes under the umbrella of BCBS of Florida Foundation Inc., operating as an independent philanthropy affiliated with Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield Co. Florida Blue Foundation has donated over $1 million to the Florida Literacy Coalition since 2009.
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