Health Literacy in the Classroom

7 Apr

October is Health Literacy Month and a group of committed volunteers in Florida helped spread its awareness.  Carol Scoggins put together an event that really took off.  She is very passionate about health literacy and she thinks that health information need to be distributed on a level that citizens can understand.   Scoggins came up with the idea for volunteers to read Curious George Goes to the Hospital to elementary school students across Florida.  It was a huge hit and over 900 volunteers eventually read to over 30,000 pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade students.  Goodie bags with pencils, stickers, and coloring books (with examples of what nurses, dentists, doctors, technicians, and other health professionals do) were given to each of the students that were read to.  This year, the book choice is The Berenstain Bears Visit the Doctor.  Since the program began in 1999, events have taken place in 32 states and 5 different continents.

I know don’t know much about Health Literacy.  It was never something that I studied in school.  A lot of what I know about health is through my doctor, family, and friends majoring in Nursing.  I think putting it in the classroom in a way that is enjoyable is a smart move. It is something I would have liked to have at an early age.   Also, the information is easy to understand.  Information on health and understanding it can be difficult because it is rarely presented on the level of an average citizen.  In addition, it gets kids reading!   Although health is the main concern of these events, it also gets kids excited about reading.  Maybe more events like this one would motivate kids to read .  I know that these volunteers are making a difference and I appreciate the work they are doing.


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