The Stevenson Program is held at and in partnership with Stevenson Elementary School and YMCA in Long Beach and has provided literacy training (ESL) individually and in classes and educational programs concerning health and family issues. Qualified bilingual staff from LSS/SC Long Beach and South Bay Area have provided this program as part of our Healthy Hispanic Families Program. Part of this program is a component called Community Leadership Institute which encourages and assists participants to create and implement improvements in the community. LSS/SC Long Beach/South Bay staff have also participated in Community Leadership Institute projects and encouraged our clients to participate.
This program has been very successful with many outcomes including: gaining knowledge about prevention of heart disease and other illnesses affecting Hispanics; improving self-esteem and health of families and children; understanding anxiety and mental health issues; gaining understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease and Caregiving; improving family communication and relationships; learning about the illness of Depression, symptoms and treatments available; understanding how Hispanics experience Depression and cultural issues; learning about the impact of divorce and understanding issues and challenges of single parenting; gaining knowledge about the symptoms and treatment of asthma and how to prevent the illness, especially with children; learning about the symptoms and treatments of heart disease and diabetes and other illnesses which greatly affect Hispanics; learning about community resources, how to access and utilize them; paying more attention to health and symptoms of illness and accessing health resources more frequently, especially the Children’s Clinic in Long Beach, which provides services for asthma patients and other care needs; improving English reading, writing, and speaking skills which has resulted in promotions at work and obtaining part-time and full-time employment thereby helping the over-all quality of life for families.
In the spring of 2007, the staff and supervisor at Stevenson Elementary requested our agency to provide classes focusing on health and nutrition. Maria Claudia, a former client of Lutheran Social Services, learned English through our Hispanic Outreach Project. She progressed rapidly with her English skills and has completed many classes and training programs enabling her to be a valuable volunteer and mentor in our community. Maria Claudia completed training for Kaiser Permanente’s Leaders Workshop on Healthier Living (Managing Ongoing Health Conditions); recently completed a series of leadership classes offered at California State University in Long Beach concerning parent and child communication and mental health care; completed training at the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services on community issues and also received training concerning asthma and lead poisoning; and completed several training programs and classes on nutrition and health issues.
In June 2007, Maria Claudia began working in our Healthy Hispanic Families Program providing classes at the LSS/SC Long Beach Center. In late June, Maria Claudia began a 6-week series of classes at our Stevenson Program with the supervision and consultation of Stevenson and LSS staff. These classes will focus on nutrition; exercise; chronic illnesses and the importance of diet; and reading food labels and creating healthy recipes. One of our goals is to develop skills and leadership with our clients, and Maria Claudia is an excellent example of how this is being accomplished, resulting in wonderful contributions for our community.