Summer is the season for vacations and rest, but for many families in Richmond it can be a time of increased need and stress. According to Kidsdata.org, more than 20,000 children and teens (70% of K-12 students) are eligible to receive free or reduced price school meals in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. When many schools close their doors during summer break from mid-June to mid-August, children in low-income families are left without regular access to healthy food.
In response, the Richmond Library has partnered with the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, California Summer Meal Coalition, and the California Library Association to provide summer meals to children and fresh produce to adults.
The Richmond Library joins a network of more than 100 other public libraries in California that have implemented Lunch at the Library programs. Learning from other library’s success, the Richmond Library is coupling meal distribution with health-promoting educational opportunities. Many children stay after lunchtime for the Library’s Summer Reading Heroes program, where volunteers, interns, and staff read with kids to prevent summer learning loss. In July, we will be starting a Digital Health Literacy class for parents with grant support from the California Library Association.
The Richmond Library’s main branch (325 Civic Center Plaza) provides lunch for children 0 to 18 years-old on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1pm. A complete list of the other summer meal sites in the West Contra Costa Unified School District is here, and a map of all sites in Contra Costa and Solano counties is here.
City of Richmond Staff and Community Partners are invited to attend a Health Information Training taking place on Thursday October 29th, and Friday, October 30th from 8:30am-12:30pm in the IT Training room at Richmond City Hall (450 Civic Center Plaza). The same training will be offered on both days to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to attend. Attendees will learn how to find reliable information online to help residents answer questions related to health conditions, health insurance, health services, and healthy living.
The training will be lead by Kelli Ham, Consumer Health and Technology Librarian, with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, UCLA Biomedical Library and Ellen Kersten, Digital Health Literacy Project Coordinator, with the Richmond Public Library.
The draft agenda is below for more information. Please RSVP using the form below or contacting Ellen Kersten via email or 510-307-8002 to let us know which day you plan to attend.
Health Information Training Agenda
A. Overview of health in Richmond (Ellen, 15 min)
B. Role of library in addressing community health issues and opportunities for collaboration (Kelli, 90 min)
Break (20 min)
C. General health resources and training (Kelli, 90 min)
D. Local health resources and training (Ellen, 15 min)
The Richmond Digital Health Literacy Project has been leading successful Digital Health computer classes at the Nevin Community Center. The class has grown from 7 to 18 students over the past five weeks! This first cohort includes English- and Spanish-speaking learners from the YES Nature to Neighborhoods Wellness Navigators program. More students will start the training program during drop-in computer lab hours at Richmond’s Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2pm-5pm.
Some of the topics covered so far include finding reliable health information online, using google maps to locate health services, and understanding health insurance. Additional learning plans on the topics of physical wellness, family wellness, and community wellness will be added over the next month.
To volunteer to help out with the classes or for more information, please contact us.
We had our first site partner meeting on August 3, 2015. It was great to get so many local health and digital literacy experts together in one room! Fourteen people, including representatives from five local organizations and four City of Richmond departments, came together to provide feedback on the digital health literacy curriculum development, field testing, and launch plan. The meeting notes and slides are posted on the Meetings webpage of this site.
In the first picture below, we are watching a short (1 min) overview video called What is Health Literacy. The video shows examples of why it is important to be able to find and understand health information--a great reminder of why we are doing this work!
Updates about the intersections of digital literacy, health literacy, community health, and adult education.