Sight in Schools Vision 2020 Initiative
One out of every four children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems. The good news is a majority of the vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are very treatable. Early detection and treatment are key.
Our Children’s Sight in Schools Program is Northeast Florida’s only local resource for free vision care for children from preschool through high school. Annually, our team provides vision screenings to over 40,000 youth in more than 450 schools throughout Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties for early detection of vision issues and eye diseases.
With early detection, it is estimated that upwards of 80% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured. However, detection is often limited by basic access to services.
Youth from low-income communities are at a greater risk of untreated vision problems and have a higher rate of unmet needs for vision care services. To bridge the gap, we are expanding our Sight in Schools program to provide a wraparound service for our community’s most vulnerable youth. Our Sight in Schools Vision 2020 initiative will focus on providing comprehensive eye exams for students who lack insurance, do not have the financial means to pay out-of-pocket, or have transportation barriers to go to the doctor’s office. We have partnered with United Way of Northeast Florida’s Full Service Schools and the Duval County Public Schools Vision Department to identify students in Title I schools with the greatest needs. (Title I schools have a high concentration of students who are economically disadvantaged.)
We kicked off our 2020 initiative on January 31st and it’s already making a difference in the lives of youth in our community! We have provided comprehensive eye exams to local students in need at Timucuan Elementary, Westside High School, and Cedar Hills Elementary. Our partner optometrists are able to perform the exam in a classroom and prescribe glasses thanks to the new mobile vision equipment we were able to purchase through a grant provided by The Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust.
This program is truly providing the gift of sight for our community’s youth!