FTC Receives Health Literacy Grant

FTC Receives Health Literacy Grant


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 healthcare 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
FLC Contact: Heather Surrency
(407) 246-7110

Florida Blue Contact:
Toni Woods
(904) 905-3153

below basic health literacy, and 2) foreign-born adults who speak English as their second

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

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.
For questions, please contact Heather Surrency.

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

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.