Wisconsin Vision to help students see more clearly

Wisconsin Vision, in partnership with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Public School system will provide follow-up care and eyeglasses to 100 students at Clarke Street School and Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood schools.

Wisconsin Vision, in partnership with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Public School system will provide follow-up care and eyeglasses to 100 students at Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood schools next week. These students were among more than 500 students who received free vision screenings earlier this month.
“Numerous studies show the poorer the school population, the more children need glasses,” said Darren Horndasch, president and CEO of Wisconsin Vision, the state’s largest independently-owned optical company.  “According to the Journal of School Health, children living in low income urban environments have twice the normal rate of vision problems.”  
Those statistics led to the start of the free Wisconsin Vision care program at the Clarke Street School in April when the company examined and distributed free eyeglasses to 45 students. Eight of those students were identified as legally blind without the glasses. Now Wisconsin Vision has expanded the program at Clarke and added Gwen T. Jackson.  
“Unfortunately, if there is not a school nurse in the building, typically vision screenings do not occur at the school,” said Barbara Armstrong, executive director Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.   
Budget cuts recently forced Gwen T. Jackson school to eliminate the in school nurse.
Wisconsin does not require vision screening or comprehensive eye exams for students.
“Our screenings and Wisconsin Vision’s follow up care provide immediate solutions that make it easy for children to be identified and get the vision care they need,” Armstrong said.  “Left undetected and uncorrected, vision problems can interfere with reading and other visual skills critical to academic success as 80 percent of a child’s learning is related to sight.   Children need healthy vision to be successful in school.”
Students and teachers at Clarke Street School have already begun to see an improvement from those students who received glasses in April. Wisconsin Vision and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin expect to see similar results in Gwen T. Jackson schools.
Wisconsin Vision has donated  the needed lenses, frames and fabrications valued at more than $200 per pair.
“Wisconsin Vision, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin and MPS want to bring to light the correlation between good vision and improved school performance,” Horndasch said.  “We urge all parents no matter where your child goes to school to screen your youngsters for vision problems before they start kindergarten.”

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