The Milwaukee Board of School Directors will honor Wisconsin Vision and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin with Excellence in Education Awards at the Board’s meeting this week. The optical company and non-profit organization recently partnered on a program that provided free vision screenings to more than 500 students at Clarke Street School and Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School. More than 100 of those children were then provided with free follow-up care including eyeglasses for many of them.
The Excellence in Education Award recognizes an outstanding school, student, staff member, parent, or community member for a display of excellence, achievement, and innovation that may serve as an example to our school district and the entire Milwaukee community.
“Words cannot express the positive impact that Wisconsin Vision and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin had on the entire GTJS community,” wrote Gwen T. Jackson School Principal Kanika A. Burks in a recent thank you note. “The look on the faces of the parents when they saw their children with new glasses is one that I will never forget. The gift of giving students ‘visual access’ to their education is priceless.”
Consistent with national statistics, at least one in four of those students screened were found to have a vision problem. Additionally, according to the Journal of School Health, children living in low income urban environments have twice the normal rate of vision problems.
Those troubling statistics led to the start of the free Wisconsin Vision care program at the Clarke Street School last April when the company examined and distributed free eyeglasses to 45 students. Then in October, Wisconsin Vision expanded the program in partnership with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin at Clarke and added Gwen T. Jackson. The program at Gwen T. Jackson came at a much needed time as budget cuts eliminated the school nurse, and as a result, the opportunity for children to be screened for vision problems.
Together Wisconsin Vision and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin want to bring to light the correlation between good vision and improved school performance, and urge all parents no matter where your child goes to school to screen your youngsters for vision problems before they start kindergarten.
Wisconsin Vision is the state’s largest independently-owned optical company. Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preventing blindness and preserving sight.
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