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Health Literacy Resources

Health Savvy: A Flexible Framework

For Enhancing Health Literacy Through Adult Education

Health Savvy is a framework for using the resources of adult education to address key areas relevant to improved health literacy in both ABE/ASE and ESL classes and, conversely, for using the highly relevant areas of health information and health literacy to improve students' engagement and persistence in acquiring the skills for which they entered adult education classes. The focus of Health Savvy is to promote awareness of health issues and individuals’ role in their own health, with primary attention to wellness and critical thinking/decision making. Empowerment -- to stay well, to make appropriate use of the health care system in the U.S. for both preventive and sick care, and to recognize and overcome barriers in the health context -- is the goal of the framework.

Topic Areas

Health Savvy is not a curriculum. The topic areas include some guiding content and competency objectives, but teachers should select resources based on the needs of their students. Each topic area's main page includes links to lesson plans, classroom ideas, and Internet and print resources appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of both ESL and ABE/ASE students. In using our lesson plans and links, please keep in mind that Internet copyright is an evolving area and be careful to respect the rights of authors and other content owners. Our use of websites reflects academic fair use, public domain, or creative commons usage as we understood it when the lesson was created, and we revisit those issues any time we return to one of our own lessons. 

How do I know? — Accessing and Judging Health Information

Does it really matter what I eat?
  — Nutrition and Wellness

Why walk when I can ride?   — The Role of Fitness in Health

How can I keep myself well?
  — Prevention

What’s up, Doc?  — Illness and Injury

Where do I go from here?  — Procedures and Treatment

From the FDA to the narrowest curriculum, if it fits more than one of our topic areas, you'll probably find it here
Project Background
How we got into this project and how we piloted it

Health Savvy blog
Essays about health by and for adult students


Links to info on current events and issues -- this year's flu and other epidemics, health care reform, etc. -- as they arise

This framework is produced by Parkway Area Adult Education and Literacy through a Health Literacy Demonstration Project grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. If you cite or quote any part of the framework, please credit Parkway Area Adult Education and the Missouri Foundation for Health. For more information or to report problems with the site: pkwyael@yahoo.com.