IRC Literacy Services partners with VNA to teach health literacy

news release

Literacy Services of Indian River County has partnered with the VNA’s Advanced Care Planning team for the first of its four-part series on Health Literacy. As low English language literacy skills have been tied to poor health outcomes and increased health care costs, the series will focus on building these important skills.

With the VNA, students learned about Five Wishes, an easy-to-use legal medical advance directive that addresses what should happen if a person becomes ill and is no longer able to make their own decisions for themselves. Information was first provided in English and then translated into Spanish so students could understand the important materials and learn new vocabulary.

This was the first of four classes that will be held at the Brackett Library. The next class will be presented by Treasure Coast Community Health, addressing important community resources that students can access with or without insurance. Following sessions will focus on healthy habits and communicating with healthcare professionals.

The mission of Literacy Services, founded in 1971, is to deliver comprehensive and innovative learning opportunities to local adults seeking English language and literacy skills to achieve their goals. Literacy Services’ vision is that all adults are empowered with the literacy skills they need to thrive in the community. During the last fiscal year, more than 250 students achieved more than 570 personal goals.

The organization, a United Way supported agency, relies on over 100 volunteer tutors who provide free, confidential and one-to-one tutoring to individuals aged 16 and older or within group settings at the request of local employers. Tutors do not need any prior teaching experience and receive training, ongoing support and resources from Literacy Services. There is a waiting list of over 60 students and more tutors are needed.

For more information about getting involved, please visit http://www.literacyservicesirc.org or call 772-778-2223.

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