SMART University’s 24-week (Fall, Winter, Spring trimesters) core treatment and health education series addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of HIV+ women and promotes linkage to high-quality treatment, care and supportive services. Classes are led by a volunteer “expert” (health care/mental health providers, nutritionists, etc.). Sample topics related to HIV include: Medication and side effects, mental health, and sexual health. Complex information is presented in an understandable way and promotes informed conversations between women and their providers.
SMART University women may participate in: SMART Art which integrates meditation into exploration of various art mediums; SMART Body, a hands-on nutrition/cooking class, taught by a registered dietitian, cover topics of relevance for HIV+ women, from safe food preparation to mitigating the side effects of HIV treatment through diet. Women take home recipes and specialized food pantry ingredients. Field trips to local farmers’ and organic food markets reinforce healthy food purchases; SMART Advanced Body class creates recipes, develops menus for SMART programming and small-scale community organizations events. SMART Computer teaches fundamental computer and internet literacy skills;
SMART & SASI (year-round) develops and hones our women’s leadership, communication and advocacy skills.
SMART Forums (monthly) is open to all genders to distribute cutting-edge, topical health information to the community-at-large.
SMART Food for Life takes our successful nutrition education model to other community organizations. The curriculum targets specific populations such as families, youth, seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS and creates a workshop to target their health and nutrition needs.
SMART in the Community allows women and youth to share health information and resources through educational workshops, health fairs and other events throughout the year.
SMART Youth (year-round) is a weekly youth development and leadership program for adolescents, ages 13-22, living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The intensive leadership and sexual health training prepares youth to share accurate sexual health information, particularly regarding HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, with all adolescents in New York City. Check out their blog at www.smartyouthnyc.org.