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AmeriCorps Health Literacy Program

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. The Project SHINE Health Literacy Program addresses the English language and health literacy needs of older immigrants and refugees, giving them the skills and confidence to communicate effectively with health care providers and to access health services. Project SHINE is a national service organization at Temple University Intergenerational Center.  Project SHINE partnered with AmeriCorps from 2009 to 2012 to strengthen the process in reaching the older immigrants and refugees through health literacy.  AmeriCorps members at SHINE promoted a healthy community and strengthened social connections by tutoring English, health literacy, healthy workshops and recreational activities. AmeriCorps members served 9-10 hours per week and attended monthly trainings. Members received a $1,500 stipend and a $1,132 educational award.  The result of the joint effort was meaningful to both the elders and the tutors.  The elders gained greater understanding of health matters such as how to make a doctor’s appointment, how to ask doctors questions, etc.  And the volunteers received great satisfaction for helping to make a positive change in the lives of the elders they served.

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