Collaboration Ideas

Here are some ways to promote health literacy and raise awareness in your community.
 Arrange meetings between health educators and literacy organizations to share resources. Literacy workers can learn how to incorporate health materials into their classrooms, while health care workers can learn how to reach low literacy groups and can refer patients to ESL classes. (Adapted from an idea contributed by Charles Moody, Literacy Partners of Manitoba.)
Arrange a health fair at your local ESL program that includes literacy/health literacy materials and information on ESL classes. (Contributed by Central Piedmont Community College, North Carolina)
Invite a health educator to come and speak about a specific health issue (like HIV or diabetes) that interests your students.  Contact your local health department, community health center, or hospital for more information.
Ask local wellness programs to visit an ESL class and perform free fitness testing and health screening, etc.  Contact your local health department, community health center, or hospital.
Coordinate with your local Cooperative Extension and their Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).  Health educators from EFNEP can come to your classroom and do nutrition analyses, demonstrate food preparation, and provide shopping tips.
Read to patients in waiting rooms and provide books for kids to take home.  (Contributed by Gladys Wagenseil, Brunswick County Literacy Council, North Carolina)
Consider ESL students as a resource when recruiting lay health advisors. (Contributed by Jimmy Wallace, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) 
Create a partnership between health organizations and literacy organizations and/or libraries. Hospitals can partner with the local library or adult literacy program to offer a center inside the hospital where patrons can find health information in different languages. Items can be marked with a sticker that identifies them as low-literacy materials. Literacy and health literacy web sites can be book marked, while staff can provide computer assistance. (Adapted from an idea contributed by Ellen Loebl, Associate Manager of Curriculum and Instruction at Vision Literacy.) 
Take a class field trip to your local health department or community health center. (Contributed by Sissel Hoff, Wake Tech Community College, Raleigh, NC)