Online Program

Development Curriculum and Evaluation Strategies to Incorporate Health Literacy into the Lives of Elementary School Children in Maryland

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Amanda Strausser, MPH, CPH, School of Public Health; Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland College Park, Hyattsville, MD
Aldoory Linda, PhD, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland, School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Dawn Denton, RN, BS, Nursing, Atlantic General Hospital, Berlin, MD
Erica Roberts, MHS, School of Public Health; Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
Michael Franklin, FACHE, Atlantic General Hospital, Berlin, MD
Health literacy is the ability to find, understand and use health information to make healthy decisions. Nearly half of all Americans have difficulty understanding and acting on health information. This impacts short and long term health outcomes.  One community in Maryland wanted to address the low health literacy among their low-income rural population and decided to start with the children. A collaborative partnership was created between a university, a health care system and a public school system to develop health literacy standards for integrated public school general curriculum. The draft standards were shared with elementary school teachers, who were trained in health literacy and asked to create pilot curriculum about health literacy concepts integrated with reading, writing, science and social studies. We conducted a pilot evaluation with second graders pre- and post-curriculum implementation, and found improved health literacy scores among students. We will describe the development of health literacy standards, teacher training, integrated curriculum, and evaluation strategies. Also, the results will be presented to show the impact of health literacy curriculum on second graders. The curriculum is now being implemented county-wide and has been broadened to include first, third, fourth and fifth grade classes across the county.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Design an integrated health literacy curriculum to be evaluated in a low-income, rural Maryland school district to improve the health literacy of elementary school students.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary graduate assistant working in all facets of this project. I have never received money or goods from the funding source. I will present this research with the utmost professionalism, objectivity and scientific rigor.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.