East Haven Elementary Students Get New Glasses Thanks to Vision to Learn Partnership
More than 500 elementary school students in East Haven Public Schools recently had their vision screened, resulting in free eye exams for 128 students through a partnership with Vision to Learn, a national nonprofit providing mobile vision services to children, free of charge to families.
Vision to Learn-Connecticut launched in fall 2021. East Haven is just one of 500 communities nationwide that is served by Vision to Learn. Other communities served in Connecticut include East Hartford, Winchester, Vernon, Manchester, and Thompson, as well as the Bridge to Success Community Partnership in Waterbury.Vision to Learn-Connecticut is funded through philanthropic, private, and public sources.
“More than two million children in the U.S. do not have the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, or participate in class and it’s estimated that about 40,000 students in Connecticut’s Alliance Districts lack the glasses they need to succeed in school,” said Sabrina Davis, program manager for Vision to Learn. “We are thrilled to partner with East Haven Public Schools. Vision to Learn-Connecticut looks forward to serving East Haven’s other elementary and middle schools in the coming school year.”
The goal of the partnership is to screen all EHPS students in grades K to 8. The program came to East Haven in early 2022, starting at Tuttle Elementary School and Momauguin Elementary School.
“EHPS welcomes and continually seeks opportunities to partner with external organizations to support our students and families in any way we can,” said Superintendent of Schools Erica Forti. “Partnering with Vision to Learn has already led to eye exams that will provide one out of every five students at Momauguin School with glasses that meet their vision profile. We all know the importance of good eyesight, especially when it comes to learning. We are excited to get the glasses on our students, teach them how to care for them, listen to their thoughts on how wearing their glasses helps them, and, of course, celebrate their new look.”
Parents were given the opportunity to opt out of the free screenings. At Momauguin Elementary School, 98 percent of families opted in for the screenings and of the 280 students screened, 66 students qualified and were provided a free eye exam. Of those, 60 students were prescribed glasses, which will be distributed in the coming weeks.
“I have been extremely impressed with everything about this experience, from the professionalism of the staff, the organization around implementation of the services, and the state-of-the-art equipment and examination room on wheels, this has been such an incredible opportunity for our entire school community,” said Momauguin Principal Diane MacKinnon. “The students were very comfortable with the vision screenings, very cooperative, and enjoyed picking out their colorful new glasses. Many of them seemed to have a very well-defined sense of personal taste.”
At Tuttle, 223 students were screened at Tuttle School with 68 students qualifying for an eye exam. Vision to Learn then conducted eye exams from Feb. 7 to 10.
After the vision screenings and eye exams, students identified as needing classes receive a prescription and work with Vision to Learn’s optician to choose frames. The glasses are delivered by Vision to Learn approximately two weeks later when an optician will fit the glasses to each student and share how to care for the glasses and clean the lenses.
“This program has benefited our students who have the potential for improved vision and, therefore, have greater access to learning by improving their ability to read clearly and accurately,” said McKinnon. “Our parents and guardians benefit from the convenience of easy and free access to vision exams and glasses for their children. In addition, students’ glasses, should they be broken or lost, will be repaired or replaced for up to one year after receiving them. Finally, our teachers and schools should recognize positive academic and social/emotional outcomes as a result of students’ improved vision.”
For information, visit visiontolearn.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.