Improving Health Literacy for Families
Nydia Ntouda: On today’s webinar, our presenters are Zoe Rochman and Serena Dacus. They will introduce themselves. First up will be Zoe. Zoe, take it away.
Zoe Rochman: Thanks so much, Nydia, Hello, everyone and welcome to today’s session on Improving Health Literacy for Head Start Families. Thank you so much for joining us today. I see that we have a lot of friends from a lot of different places here. As Head Start staff, you play such an important role in the lives of children and families, and I’m excited for us to learn together today.
As Nydia said, my name is Zoe Rochman. On behalf of Sesame Workshop, I’m going to be talking to you today about some of the resources that we have available to support Head Start staff and families to improve health literacy. In today’s conversation, we’ll develop an understanding of health literacy, and learn about Sesame.org, our digital hub of multimedia resources. From there, we’ll talk through the different types of tools we have on the website, how they can help improve health literacy for head start families, and then spend some time thinking about the best ways to embed them into your work before closing out.
Sesame Workshop is a partner of the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety. As we go through these materials and resources, I’m going to ask you to reflect on the children, families, and staff that you support as we play in the sandbox with assets that may be just one more tool in conversations you’re already having in your work. Let’s jump right in and get started.
As I mentioned, my name is Zoe, and I’m a content manager in the US Social Impact department at Sesame Workshop. My background is in early childhood education, and I spent over 10 years working in classrooms with young children. Now, I work to develop some of the content and materials that you’ll be learning about later on in this presentation, helping children grow stronger, smarter, and kinder with help from people like all of you. I’m very pleased to be joined today by Serena who I will pass it to now.
Serena Dacus: Hello, everyone. My name is Serena Dacus, and I am a training and technical associate with the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety. I have the opportunity to lead training and help develop products for the center on a wide variety of health and safety topics, including our health equity and our health literacy work, which are the primary focus of today’s conversation. It is always a pleasure to partner with Sesame and connect to the work that we are all doing to support the families and staff that are served in your programs.
Zoe: Thanks, Serena. Head Start staff and parents play a critical role in supporting children in learning about their growing brains and bodies. Laying a healthy foundation in the earliest years can set the stage for a lifetime of health. Incorporating health literate practices at the personal and organizational level can lead to improved health outcomes for children and Head Start programs.
Today, Serena and I will share a variety of resources to help you support families through healthy and not-so-healthy times, and to help caregivers understand, appreciate, and involve children in learning about and caring for their bodies. But before we start, let’s take a quick break to catch our breath together with a mindful moment. We’ll be joined by our friends Grover and Big Bird, and you’ll only need your listening ears for this one.
Grover: Hey, out there. It is I, your furriest and adorable friend Grover. Welcome to mindful monsters. I am so glad you are here. Being a mindful monster means paying close attention to how you feel and what is going on around you. Let us start by in a deep breath. Ready? Now, let’s just listen in with my good friend Big Bird to learn all about saying hello to our bodies.
Big Bird: Hello there. It’s me, Big Bird. One way I like to have a mindful moment is by saying hello to the different parts of my body. I like to imagine a nice breeze blowing through my feathers and making me feel nice and relaxed. Come on, let’s do it together. Make sure you’re in a comfy position.
Let’s start by taking three big belly breaths. Ready? 1, 2, 3. Now, let’s say hello to our head. Hello, head. Let’s move our heads in a big circle one way, then the other. Good. Now, let’s say hello to our shoulders. Hello, shoulders. Let’s squeeze our shoulders up and down. One more time. Up and down. Good. Now, let’s say hello to our hand. Hello, hands. Let’s open our hands and close them.
One more time. Open and close. Good. Now, let’s say hello to our toes. Hello, toes. See if you can wiggle your toes. Are they wiggling? Good. Thanks for saying hello to your body with me. Checking in with your body is a great way to feel calm and relaxed.
Grover: Was nice? Thank you for stopping by mindful monsters and taking a mindful moment with us today. Let us take one more deep breath together, OK? Bye.
Zoe: That was nice. Thank you so much, Grover and Big Bird. I hope everyone’s feeling a little more calm and relaxed and ready to learn. Back in 1969, the United States was on the verge of a change. With limited resources available to communities across the US, Sesame Street was the first show of its kind to not only entertain but educate.
Creators Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett saw an opportunity to prepare every child, no matter the zip code with the information they needed to start school with the same level of readiness. More than 50 years later, Sesame Workshop continues to prepare children for school and life with fun and engaging ways to explore the world with furry friends.
Sesame Workshop’s mission builds on the more than 50 year commitment to serving and learning from families and providers, working to build stronger, smarter, and kinder kids, one relationship at a time. Through our partnerships with organizations like NCHBHSs and the Office of Head Start, we reach more children, families, and communities. Now, I’m going to kick it over to Serena to talk about what and the why of health literacy before we get into the Sesame Workshop resources to support you in your work.
Serena: Thank you, Zoe, for that helpful introduction and for grounding us then a little bit of mindfulness before we get started and have such an important conversation. To best support children and families to live those smarter, stronger, kinder, lives and to improve health outcomes for children and families, it’s important that we understand the multitude of factors that are impacting their growth and development.
The communities where each of you all live and work have the opportunity to benefit from a very important health equity intervention, our Head Start programs. Through Head Start’s comprehensive services, the model prioritizes health as a pathway to enhancing a child’s readiness to succeed in school. Healthy children really are ready to learn.
At Head Start programs, we create a new trajectory for Head Start children and families when we understand and address those social determinants of health and we reduce health disparities and work towards health equity. The framework that you see on the slide was developed by the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety or HBHS.
What you see on the slide is a visual representation of the journey towards health equity and how Head Start programs really do play a key role in advancing health equity. We begin by discussing the factors impacting children and families. These are the social conditions that we call the social determinants of health. You’ll see that in that yellow circle all the way to your left. And those are the determinants that directly impact health outcomes.
These conditions include things like education access and quality as well as health care access and quality. Conversations, such as economic stability, social and community context, and the neighborhood and built environment, as well as what we are calling structural and systemic racism and other forms of oppression that you can see show up in that graphic as that outer blue ring around those social determinants of health.
These differences and conditions result in health disparities. We’re moving on down the road to that blue circle. Health disparities are differences in health outcomes among groups of people. Health disparities are the metric that we use to measure progress towards health equity. Head Start programs have an important role in the journey to health equity. You can see that in the bridge in that orange bridge that’s in the middle of that graphic there.
The journey towards health equity as we really do serve the children, the families, and even the staff that work in our programs. Head Start programs are designed to help reduce health disparities, eliminate barriers, and provide a healthy foundation to ensure that children enter school ready to succeed. The journey to health equity is very unique. We end at that green circle there.
Here we highlight some common steps in the path to increase awareness and understanding to really be intentional in our actions for health equity from wherever it is that you stand. We elevate this journey is really important because we know the impact health has on children’s ability to learn, their ability to achieve in school, and their ability to live a long and productive life. By prioritizing these comprehensive health services, the Head Start model is really at the forefront of building bridges to health equity.
The health disparities that we see are often deep rooted in both personal experiences and the systems and determinants surrounding us. Health literacy is an important strategy and intervention in moving towards health equity. As a center, when we think about health literacy, we believe that people have a right to make informed decisions and receive care that improves their health and quality of life. Health literacy directly impacts health care access and quality, which is one of those domains of the social determinants of health framework we talked about on the last slide.
In addition to health care access and quality, Head Start children, families, and staff experience a variety of conditions and factors that are impacting their overall health outcomes. Things such as the physical environment, social and economic factors, and individual health behaviors as well. What we want to do is we want to ensure that we as Head Start programs are delivering services, developing products in ways that are easy to understand, easy to use, and improve that health and longevity and quality of life overall.
Health literacy is a needed strategy to advance health equity and improve quality, and help to eliminate those health care disparities that are experienced by children and families and staff in our communities. As you probably know, the comprehensive health services that are deeply rooted in our Head Start program performance standards and that are built into the design of the Head Start program are really, really important.
The standards read that programs must provide high quality oral health, mental health, and nutrition services that are developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and that will support each child’s growth and school readiness. This reflects Head Start’s recognition that health has a direct impact on school readiness. It’s our hope that during their time in the Head Start program, all Head Start families and staff gain an understanding of the critical role that health plays in improving outcomes for children and families.
You all have likely witnessed how health is a cross-cutting field that intersects with all people in all aspects of our Head Start programs. Health literacy, as we’re going to discuss further today, is a driving factor in administering those comprehensive health services, and is also really important in improving the health outcomes of the children, families, and staff that we serve in our Head Start programs.
Let’s explore health literacy a little bit more in-depth, and talk about what it is. We’ll begin with a poll. I’ll give Olivia a second to share the poll. But what we want you to do is we want you to think about which of these examples represent health literacy? I see our response is coming in. Give just another second for folks to mark the ones that they think are examples of health literacy. OK. I think our numbers are slowing down. Olivia, if you can go ahead and launch the results of that poll. OK.
What you probably started to figure out is that the answer is all of the above. Health literacy is, in fact, all of the above. There are many, many factors contributing to finding, understanding, and using information to inform health decisions. Whether a person can find and understand and use health information and services depends in part on their skills and abilities, that’s the person’s personal health literacy, but also matters just as much how easy or difficult it is to find and understand that information and to complete health tasks.
That’s where organizations can make it either really straightforward or really complex. That’s going to impact whether people can equitably find, understand, and use health information and services. It’s equally important to pay attention to both personal and organizational factors that are contributing to health literacy.
We see this dual approach show up in the health literacy definition that was adopted by Healthy People 2030. The literature really, in this updated definition, has shown that we must move beyond the perspective that health literacy is solely reliant on individuals, and recognize the role that organizations play in making sure health-related information and services are equitably accessed and understood.
When this updated definition was developed, they really began to include personal being the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information, and organizational being the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform their health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.
With this new definition, we emphasize use of information rather than just understanding, we focus on the ability to make well-informed decisions rather than just appropriate ones, and we acknowledge that organizations have a responsibility to address health literacy. The Healthy People 2030 definition aligns directly with our Center HBHS’s health equity efforts, and we believe Head Start programs are truly health equity intervention.
Disparities in health outcomes are often due to low health literacy, which is deeply rooted in both those personal experiences and the systems and determinants surrounding Head Start families and staff. We set the foundation for understanding health literacy, it’s important to note health literacy is so much more than just reading.
It includes written communication, so things like the flyers and resources that we give families. Spoken communication. How are we talking about health concepts when we’re working with families? Numbers and math. Information about measures and screening results and dosage. Those are all numbers in math.
Using health information. Once we share information with families, how are they then using it? How are they consuming that information and then using it to make informed decisions? Lastly, navigating the health care system, which is a challenging one. Things like, do I know how to apply for Medicaid or insurance benefits? How do I find an appointment once I arrive at a location?
How do I schedule an interpreter if that’s a need that I have for myself or for my family? These are all aspects and factors of health literacy. we know each of these can be challenging for families. I want to take a minute just to pause here and reflect on all the areas in green on the slide. Which of these areas are you finding most challenging for your program to address?
Take a moment and add some responses into the chat. We want to gain your perspective around what you’ve experienced in working with families, and what you’re hearing but which of these areas of health literacy are showing up as most challenging? Numbers and math. Navigating the health care system. Lots of navigating.
Zoe: Lots of navigating.
Serena: Using health information. Numbers and math. Yes. Our average literacy levels as a nation are pretty low. But then when we look at numeracy, our average numeracy levels and our understanding of numbers is even less. It’s really hard to make informed health decisions without understanding numbers. I see a little bit of everything coming through the chat.
As we’re moving through today, keep thinking about these different aspects, and we’ll definitely be sharing some resources that will help to address all of those challenges that you all are mentioning within the chat. As we think about improving health literacy as a practical way to work towards equity, we know that people need health information and services that they can easily find, understand, and use to get and to stay healthy for themselves and their children.
By incorporating both personal and organizational health literacy strategies, we have the opportunity to improve health outcomes for families and staff in our program. Health literacy is a component of delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Health literacy strategies such as using plain language and appropriate visuals also help improve cross-cultural communication.
Health literacy strategies even provide equal access to information. Choosing to use jargon or complex language can be an act of exclusion. But when we work to address that, we’re thinking about equal and equitable access. And really finally, health literacy strategies have the potential to reduce disparities. Because our minority are underrepresented populations are often at our lowest of level of personal health literacy, it’s really important that we think about literacy, numeracy, and language as a way to improve and reduce health disparities.
All of these are just some examples of demonstrating the importance of health literacy in achieving health equity. Really in summary, Head Start programs have an opportunity to improve health literacy at the organizational and personal level in a wide variety of ways. Things such as checking for understanding when we share information with families. Coordinating our communication of health messages across teams.
Thinking about how our education folks, our health folks, our families support folks, our community space specialists. How we’re all communicating information, and how we’re making sure it’s clear and concise messages and not confusing or not ambiguous. Really providing those tips to help families in navigating our health care system are all examples of how Head Start programs are already working to help improve health literacy.
With this grounding in health equity and how health literacy can make an impact, we thought it would be helpful to provide you all with a toolbox of resources to use to support you in implementing some of the strategies that we shared. And we thought, who better to do that than our friends at Sesame. Zoe, I’ll turn it over to you.
Zoe: Thank you. Sesame Workshop gives Head Start the tools to put it all together and implement health literacy into practice. When you’re baking cookies, there’s two important things you need ingredients like flour, eggs, and sugar, and tools and instruments like a mixing bowl, a spoon, and a baking sheet. You can think about our understanding of health equity and literacy as the ingredients, and Sesame Workshop resources as the tools to help.
Sesame Workshop has resources and tools for a wide variety of topics for young children. But today, Serena and I are sharing the many that can support you in improving health literacy and working towards equity. While we’re talking a lot about Sesame Workshop today, you may have also heard about Sesame Street in communities.
Sesame Street in Communities, also known as SSIC, is Sesame Workshop’s program to support community providers who serve families and help children face challenges big and small. Our free research based resources and professional development are made to help lay the foundation for children’s well-being today and into the future.
Our professional development comes in the form of training videos, digital courses, webinars on our website, and through workshops like this, which help us keep the learning alive by exploring the Sesame Workshop resources in real time with staff and providers.
It’s our hope that in these interactions, we can present what we have to share with children and families that you know best, and to help make a plan on how to thread them into the conversations that you’re already having. Because we know that the more we can help families take small steps to build their health literacy, the more we can increase their chances of successful outcomes in school and life.
In order to expand the reach and impact of our sesame resources and make our content more discoverable and shareable, we recently built a new consolidated website where our resources live, on sesameworkshop.org or just sesame.org. By combining our various adult facing sites into one, we’re simplifying the ways to find our content, particularly through organic search.
With the new tagging system applied to almost 2000 pieces of content and new frontend search tools, the new sesame.org makes it easier and faster for you to find what you’re looking for. If you are already using resources that you depend on from our previous website, they’re all still available, and any links that you might currently have and use will now direct you to that same content but on our new site.
As I just mentioned, sesame.org is home to thousands of free, bilingual, multimedia tools to help children and families enrich and expand their knowledge during the earliest years, and to enhance the amazing work that you’re already doing in your communities. I’m going to run through some quick tips to help navigate the site, and then I’ll share my screen and we can take a look at the site together.
I believe that the best way to get started on sesame.org is by creating an account. Using your account, you can log in to save favorite activities, register for webinars, and sign up to receive monthly email updates about featured and upcoming new topics and activities. Once you’re on the site, spend some time exploring the expanse of topics.
I’ve noted, the resources are created to help kids and grownups with what matters most in young lives. Things like health and wellness, social and emotional skills, school readiness, and tougher topics too. On the website, the resources are divided into three themed buckets. There’s ABCs and 1, 2, 3s, Healthy Minds and Bodies, and Tough Topics.
Within each of those buckets is a breakdown of more specific topics and further breakdowns by subtopic. I’ll be showing those to you in more detail in just a moment. But for reference, today, we’ll be diving deep into the health and hygiene topic. Then, you have those professional development resources. You can level up your skills by viewing a webinar, training video, or by completing a course. And you can also version all resources into Spanish just by clicking a button. And when we check out the site, I’ll show you a few other ways to do that too.
At many of our workshops, participants are often really excited but sometimes a little overwhelmed at the amount of resources on the site. To help navigate the many topics and different types of resources, we created a search and filter feature. Using this feature, you have the option to filter by topic, age of child, length of activity, resource type, language, and more. Let’s pop over to the site and take a quick look together.
Serena: As we’re switching our screens, I’d like to invite you all to think for just a moment about the staff and families in your program. If you were talking with families, for instance, about healthy habits for children and families, what would be some of the filters that you might want to use? Thinking about your program specifically and the children and families you serve you can type those into the chat, but what might be some of those filters you might use? Oral health. Tooth brushing. Age. Feeding. Yeah, some great examples. Take it away, Zoe.
Zoe: Great! Here we are at sesameworkshop.org. Again, you can just use sesame.org, and it will take you to the same place. Where you’re going to find all the resources that we will talk about today is under this Family Resources tab. And here are those buckets that I mentioned earlier, ABCs and 1, 2, 3s, Healthy Minds and Bodies, and Tough Topics.
Then here, you’ll find the courses and webinars, those professional development resources, and some filtered out games and storybooks. As I mentioned, we’re in this bucket today under the health and hygiene topic. I’m going to click into that. Here is the health and hygiene topic page. If you scroll down, you’ll find an introductory video, which we will watch a little bit later.
If you continue to scroll, you’ll see all of the subtopics within the health and hygiene topic. We have Doctor Appointments, How to Stay Healthy, Physical Activity, Teeth, and Vaccines for Kids. If you continue to scroll, you’ll find more resources to help kids build healthy sleep habits. Continue scrolling, and here, you can find all of the resources that are on the health and hygiene topic in Spanish by clicking this button. I’ll also show you another way in a second.
Here is that filter function that I mentioned. These are all of the resources here on the health and hygiene topic, and you can filter them by age group, by language, by resource type, or by activity length. Just so you can see the different types of resources, we have videos, articles, printables, storybooks, games, workshops, and webinars. There’s definitely a lot to see.
Now, I’m going to just click into one of the resources so you can see what it looks like. You have the option to share it with a friend. You can favorite it and it will show up in your favorites if you’re logged into your account, or you can click this button, which will translate the whole resource into Spanish.
I’m just quickly going to show you the search function. Since we’re talking about health today, I’ll just quickly search the word health. Here, you’ll find all of the resources on the full site that are tagged as being related to health. I think that’s the good stuff. Let’s head back and we can get into the resources.
Serena: Yes. Thank you, Zoe, for taking the opportunity and time to show us the best ways to navigate that site. I think it’s so, so important as we’re thinking about how to access those resources, that we just take a couple of minutes to slow down and show folks where things are at. Thank you for taking time to do that.
Zoe: Of course. It’s important to remember that wellness begins with each and every one of us. Through Head Start comprehensive services, you have an opportunity to support families in their wellness. Here at Sesame Workshop, we believe that it’s never too early to start. We focus on routines as key to keeping healthy. Brushing teeth, washing hands, eating well and exercising every day can help everyone grow and thrive.
Every so often routines such as Doctor and dentist checkups ensure that families have the support, information, and care that they need to help kids stay well. Here on this slide is that intro video that I pointed out on the health and hygiene topic page. Let’s take a minute and let our good pal Elmo explain a little more.
Elmo: Hi there. Kids need grownups to help us learn the things we need to do to stay healthy and strong. Oh, like washing our hands, or brushing our teeth, or brushing your fur. Or hair if you don’t have fur. When grownups teach us how to stay healthy when we’re young, we can learn healthy habits for life.
Elmo’s Daddy: [Off screen] Elmo!
Elmo: OK. Oh, I just got to go to the doctor now for his checkup. Oh, wait till she sees how healthy Elmo is. Coming.
Zoe: Love him.
Serena: I don’t think there’s any way to watch that video and not smile.
Zoe: True. Providing families with the health information they need to make informed decisions in a way they can find, understand, and use the information promotes health literacy. It’s through our own understanding of how we define and describe wellness that we’re able to best support the wellness of others. Here at Sesame, we define wellness as having both healthy minds and healthy bodies, and it can be grouped into five key areas.
The first is a healthy body. The second is children’s positive learning and development, safety is another aspect of wellness, children thrive when they have social-emotional well-being, and finally, wellness includes access to basic needs. All of the information I just shared is reflected in the whole child wellness article on sesame.org. Articles, as you saw, are just one of the many types of resources we have available, and we’ll dive a little deeper into them later on.
In the following slides, we’ll dive deep into our health and hygiene topic page and associated subtopic pages. Within each subtopic page, we’ll explore a different type of resource so those articles storybooks interactive games, and videos, for you to get a sense of what’s available, and to consider what works best for you and the families that you support.
Keep in mind that whatever type of resource we dive into within each subtopic, there’s way more on the site. Make sure to find some time to explore on your own. I mentioned before, there are those three themed buckets on the site. The materials that we’ll review today all live in that healthy bodies and minds bucket under the topic Health and Hygiene. Within the health and hygiene topic, you saw on the site that you’ll find those five additional subtopics.
You’ll find doctor appointments, which share information for visiting all types of providers, including what children can expect and tips for families, you’ll find how to stay healthy, which includes resources on things like hand-washing and protecting against mosquitoes, there’s a physical activity subtopic which offers resources on the benefits of exercise and moving bodies to stay healthy and well, we’ll find resources on teeth and oral health, and resources on vaccines for kids, which answers questions and helps children prepare for vaccinations.
Serena: Parent’s health and children’s health go hand in hand. And when children see parents and other adults taking care of themselves and modeling healthy habits, everyone benefits. In fact, modeling is an important strategy for promoting, understanding and improving health literacy.
First, taking time to ensure that our staff that we work with and our colleagues within our program, especially those folks when we’re talking about health-related topics that maybe I would consider themselves non-health folks, are really taking time for them to understand that the healthy habits that we’re teaching to children and families is really a key step in increasing understanding for parents and families.
Educating and training program-wide across all positions on health topics is an important strategy for improving health literacy. Once you all have an understanding as a staff and as a team of the healthy habits that we’re promoting or the health-related information we’re sharing, we can then educate and model for the children and families in our program.
Zoe: In the video, we’re about to share, the Feelingwells show and model handwashing. Now, as you know, handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent sickness all year long, and it’s an important skill for children to learn and use regularly in order to stay healthy. We’ll watch this one together. But again, there’s much more on sesame.org, and you’ll find resources on handwashing in the staying healthy subtopic.
Bebe: The Feelingwells
Daddy: Bebe, it’s time for lunch. You need to wash your hands.
Bebe: OK, Daddy. [Singing] It is time to wash my hands. OK, daddy.
Daddy: Whoa, did you use any soap? Soap helps take the germs away.
Bebe: Oh, I forgot. I’ll wash my hands again, with soap.
Daddy: And make sure the water isn’t too cold.
Bebe: OK. [Singing ] First the water, then the soap, then more water. Done. [Laughs]
Daddy: Oh. Bebe, if you want to get rid of all the dirt and germs on your hands, you’ll need to wash them for a little longer than that.
Bebe: How long?
Daddy: [Chuckles] A whole song long. Let’s do it together.
Bebe: OK. [Singing] It is time to wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands.
Daddy: Dirt and germs don’t stand a chance.
Daddy and Bebe: Germs, bye, bye.
Daddy: First the water, then the soap, and you scrub, rub a dub.
Bebe: Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble.
Daddy and Bebe: Rinse and dry.
Bebe: Clean hand high 5.
Daddy: Up top.
Zoe: I love that song.
Serena: Yes. I think it does a really great job of demonstrating hand-washing and how to make it an engagement activity between a caregiver and a child. It’s great. I love it.
Zoe: The videos across our topic pages can show friends of Sesame Street, young and old, the different ways we stay healthy informed and in control. They can be shared in a variety of settings and can be used with your staff, team, and families alike. Videos on sesame.org will often include a gentle recommendation of scripted language and activities that can be addressed with the resource.
On this slide, you’ll find some suggested ways to use videos in your programs. You might use the songs and activities to teach lessons like handwashing, you might use the provided questions to help spark open dialogue after watching videos together, you might incorporate videos into workshops as a tool to use with children and families or staff, and you can share them in your newsletters, your emails, and your digital correspondence with families.
Serena: Really, videos are just one of the many, many assets that Sesame has, and just one of the many tools that can be used to help incorporate health literacy. Everyone can benefit from material that is easy to read, easy to use, and easy to navigate. For families to be successful, we must provide tools that fit with how they learn and how they’re able to access information. Making the information easy to find and easy to understand is an important health literacy principle.
Zoe: That’s right, Serena. Because we know that children learn best through play and hands on engagement, sesame.org offers resources for children to interact directly through our content with digital interactive games. Our interactive games are those activities where children can use devices like phones, computers, and tablets to explore settings and circumstances to practice and learn about healthy habits.
Keeping children smiles healthy at every age and stage is an important part of keeping their whole body as well. Children with healthy teeth are better able to learn, maintain strong bodies, feel good about themselves, and build lifelong healthy habits. In the game that you can see there’s some pictures on the slide, children and families can jump right into guys smileys brush those teeth game show.
Children will use a toothbrush to scrub and brush the teeth of several different friendly monsters, and they’ll have to spend some time in there to make sure they get every tooth and leave their monster friend with a sparkling smile at the end. It’s also pretty satisfying to play as an adult, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve played this one quite a bit. I like to think that my dentist can tell
Serena: I love that. It’s definitely a fun one. I hope everybody takes a moment to check that one out after this webinar.
Zoe: You can find this resource under the teeth subtopic within that health and hygiene topic. There are many ways you can implement games like brush your teeth across your programs. Playing games with children can help reinforce concepts and lessons that you may be teaching in your programs like modeling healthy habits. In group settings, you can encourage children and adults to play together to foster sharing, cooperation, and conversation. Again, you can share the games in your digital correspondence with families to help promote healthy habits at home.
Serena: I really love the interactive game. I’m really glad you took the opportunity to highlight those today, Zoe, because they’re such a great tool for promoting that interaction and engaging and learning together around really important topics such as oral health. Knowing the trusted resources for health information is also important, like the Sesame Workshop resources. In addition, keeping in mind, the other community-level resources that are available to support your program as our community partners are such valuable partners in our efforts to support health literacy and share important health information.
Zoe: Thanks, Serena. There’s nothing quite like reading a good book. Any book together with children can be one of the coziest most comforting experiences grownups and children can share. Books give adults the opportunity to talk, read, and sing together, and can help make hard to talk about issues easier through storytelling. Storybooks can also be opportunities to teach important skills or in this case, practice healthy habits like exercise.
Physical activity is vital to health and wellness. It can build strength, develop large muscle skills, it’s good for the heart, it can calm the body and reduce stress, it boosts confidence, it improves social emotional skills, and much more. Here on the slide, you’ll see some pictures of our We’ve Got the Moves Move Along storybook, which can be found in the physical activity subtopic.
Let’s read this story together. Remember that physical activity and movement breaks are healthy for grownups too. Totally optional, but feel free to move along with the story if you’d like. You might find yourself with a renewed sense of focus when we’re done.
Serena: Zoe’s taking a moment to pull up our other screen so we can share our story back, just get yourself ready. We’ve been sitting for a few minutes now. Let’s take this opportunity to move along with the storybook.
Zoe: We can find it here together. I’ve noted, we’re in that Health and Hygiene topic. I’m going to scroll down to the Physical Activity subtopic and explore those resources. Then I’m going to scroll down to that filter. And because we know that this is a storybook, I’m going to filter by storybook. You’ll find that we’ve got the move storybook in English and in Spanish.
Let’s open it up. And I think I may only be able to read a couple of pages of this, but I will do as much
Narrator: We’ve Got the Moves, a Move Along Story. Who’s got the moves on Sesame Street? Everyone, and so do you. Tap tap, jiggle, and jump. Elmo’s got the moves. Now you stand up and try it. Tap, jiggle, and jump. You’ve got the moves.
Twirl, twirl, shake, and spin. Abby’s got the moves. Now you twirl, shake, and spin. You’ve got the moves. Flap, flap, waddle, and hop. Big Bird’s got the moves. Now you flap, waddle, and hop. You’ve got the moves.
Zoe: I want to read the rest of the story, but I know we’re running a little behind on time.
Narrator: To go to the next page, click here.
Zoe: We can head back into the presentation. Oh, I have to select the slide.
Serena: I think if you close that window or tap mute, then we’ll make sure that sound doesn’t pop up again. But the story the storybooks are so awesome. I’m really glad that you took the chance to show us a storybook. But also, I love the idea of being able to use it for a dual purpose. We’re increasing learning and literacy, but we’re also moving our body. I think that’s one of the things that I really, really love about Head Start, is that we have lots of great opportunities to incorporate multiple different modes of learning, and include healthy activity and physical wellness at the same time.
Zoe: Well, and I really like that you can really can use this with children and adults too.
Zoe: Yeah, everybody I hope everyone got some wiggles out and is feeling a little more focused. You can implement storybooks into your programs in a few different ways. Not only can they be used to help teach health literate practices as mentioned, but they can also help to strengthen adult child relationships. Storybooks can also be used to notice, name, and talk about emotions and practice those important skills.
You might use one of our digital storybooks to coach grownups on things they might do or say to have positive interactions and promote learning with children. With all of our resources, you can share them in those digital correspondence with families. Now we’re going to look at a resource from our doctor appointments subtopic. When visiting a health care provider, it helps when families and children are well prepared and know what to expect at each appointment.
Serena: That’s absolutely right. Our well-child exams are such a critical component of our Head Start comprehensive services, especially in those earliest years. We have an opportunity in Head Start to promote these important preventative services and support the health literacy of families by increasing their understanding of preventative care. We, again, promote health literacy when we help families prepare for those visits.
This supports their ability to navigate the health care system if you remember back from those early concepts and principles of health literacy. Head Start programs also help families and children understand that there is a whole team of people out there to help support them in staying well. That children themselves are really important members of that team.
Some strategies for preparing for appointments with medical or even behavioral health providers include talking with families about what to expect, modeling the experience, including how you schedule an appointment, what’s the check in and registration process look like, what’s going to happen during the visit, and really, how do you follow up once that visit is done?
Supporting families in helping them write down questions, providing tips for preparing the child. All of these are just some of the ways that we can help prepare for medical provider and behavioral health appointments. I believe that there’s an article actually, I don’t believe, I know that there is an article around this on the Sesame Workshop site. We don’t have time to pop over and show that to you all, but I bet you all can find it at this point with all of the expertise that Zoe has provided us on how to search and filter and use those topic sections on their site.
Zoe: As we said, it’s in that doctor appointment subtopic page. But we found articles to be particularly useful between providers and caregivers. Mainly, we encourage staff and providers to share them with families as a conversation starter on ways to support children, you can use them on a resource board and common spaces, you can photocopy and place them in shared space for families or staff, and you can share them in those newsletters, emails and digital correspondence.
Serena: We have just one video left that we really wanted to share because we know that changing our interactions with providers can be really challenging. And providing families with practical resources for developing those effective communication skills with providers can lead to trusting relationships and inspire healthy habits. In this video, let’s just take a moment to watch how Rosita visits the doctor with her abuela or her grandmother. I’m going to play that video for us now.
Rosita’s Abuelita: I am glad I get to take you to your doctor visit, mi amor. It is your 5-year-old wellness visit, your checkup.
Abuelita: Si, abuelita. Did you hear what the nurse said when she weighed me and measure me? She said that I’m growing taller and stronger. She says that every year.
Dr. Julius: Hi, Rosita.
Rosita: Ola, Dr. Julius.
Dr. Julius: I’m so happy to see you again. I missed you.
Rosita: I missed you too.
Dr. Julius: Wow, you’re five now.
Rosita: Yes. [Chuckles]
Dr. Julius: Ola, señora. I’m Dr. Julius.
Abuelita: Ola, Dr. Julius. I’m Rosita’s abuela. Rosita and her mommy and papi have told me so much about you.
Rosita: [Spanish] Doctor. I told my abuela.
Nydia: Can we start the video over?
Rosita: And about the stickers that I get when I’m done so
Sarena: Sorry about that. Did I hear the video’s not working?
Nydia Yeah. We’re able to see it, but apparently, our participants can’t hear it.
Zoe: Looks like it’s half and half. Some can and some can’t. So we’ll just try it again.
Rosita: I am ready.
Dr. Julius: Well, that is great news.
Rosita: Si. I am ready for you to use your stethoscope and listen to my heartbeat.
Dr. Julius: Good memory, Rosita. Your heart is such an important part of your body. And you know, listening to your heart with my stethoscope is just one of the ways I learn about how healthy you are. It’s also my job to listen to what you and your abuela say.
Rosita: Oh. So you want to listen to me talk before you listen to my heartbeat?
Dr. Julius: Exactly. Tell me, what are some things you can do now that you couldn’t do the last time we saw each other? I’m listening.
Rosita: Oh. Well, let me think. Oh, I can hop on one foot. Oh, I’m in a monster ball team. Oh, that’s a lot of fun. And oh, I learned a lot of new dances.
Abuelita: Oh, Rosita loves to dance at family parties.
Rosita: Ah, si, yes. My papi plays the guitar, and we all danced around. [Spanish]
Dr. Julius All your cousins, aunts, and uncles too, ha?
Dr. Julius Well, dancing is good exercise.
Rosita: A si, yes. And last time I danced so much I fell asleep on the way home like this.
Abuelita: Aye, Mi amor, you were tired!
Rosita: Yeah. [Chuckles]
Abuelita: Por favor, Dr. Julius, Rosita’s parents, and I have the same question for you. Rosita doesn’t take naps anymore. And now, sometimes she seems very tired after school. Is she getting enough sleep?
Dr. Julius: P Well a five-year-old monster needs 10 to 13 hours of sleep every night.
Abuelita: Aye, si! You do need more sleep, Rosita!
Rosita: Si, abuelita.
Dr. Julius: Wow. What’s one of your favorite ways to relax before you go to sleep.
Serena: As you can see in the video and we don’t have time to play the whole thing and I know some folks couldn’t hear it. We’ve got that link shared in the chat so you can access it. But as you can see, those well-child exams are a great time to communicate.
We want to encourage and empower families to not only attend those well-child exams, but to have the skills to be able to actively engage in their child’s health care experience. Through resources like these, we’re able to model what that good communication looks like in a provider visit setting. I’ll let Zoe just take a couple of minutes to recap everything that we’ve shared today.
Zoe: Thanks, Serena. I know we’re running out of time. I’m just going to do a quick recap of what we’ve learned today on the Sesame Workshop resources available to promote health literacy with Head Start families and where to find them. As I’ve said many, many times, you can find all of the resources on sesame.org under that Family Resources tab.
You can feel free to use your phone to scan the QR code on the screen, and it should take you right there. There are multi-media resources on a variety of topics from ABCs and 1, 2, 3’s to Tough Topics to Healthy Bodies and Minds. All of the resources are available in Spanish.
You can also access free professional development activities, including webinars, courses, and training videos. Within the health and hygiene topic page we reviewed today, you’ll find resources to help with Doctor visits, staying healthy, teeth and oral health, physical activity, and vaccines. Thank you so much for joining us. We are at our time.
Serena: Yes, we were at our time. Take an opportunity to peek back at the site. We’ve shared a ton of strategies and things for you to consider today. You may be asking yourself, where do I even begin or how can I start within my program? But really, championing those messages, exploring those different things related to healthy development, identifying some of the strategies, and really sharing those Sesame Workshop resources are a great place to start. With that, I will turn it over to Olivia to talk about evaluation and any closeout.
Nydia: Yes, thank you so much Thank you, again, to our friends at Sesame and in particular Zoe for joining us. It’s always fun having Sesame join us. Thank you to Serena for this presentation and the great information. We tried to get through as many questions as we could. If you have more questions, do not fret. You can go to my peers or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding the evaluation URL, it will appear when you leave the Zoom platform. And remember that after submitting the evaluation, you will see a new URL, and it’s with that link that will allow you to access, download, save, and print your certificates. Those of you utilizing the Spanish channel today, you will receive an additional survey, and it will come from an NCHBHSs email address just asking you about your interpretation services today.
For everyone here, you can subscribe to our monthly list of resources using the same URL at the end of the evaluation, and you can find our resources in the health section of ECLKC or write us. Again, that address is email@example.com. And thank you all once again for your participation. Olivia, you may close out the Zoom platform.Close
In early childhood programs, staff and families are important partners in helping children learn about their growing bodies and minds. Laying a healthy foundation in the earliest years can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy habits for families. Health literacy is key to that foundation. It refers to finding, understanding, and using health information to inform health-related decisions. Watch this video, featuring Sesame Workshop, to learn about health literacy resources to help support families through healthy and not-so-healthy times. Discover ways to help caregivers understand, appreciate, and involve children in learning about and caring for their bodies. The webinar was broadcast on May 4, 2023.