Elementary schoolers in South Atlanta get free vision screenings

Students get free vision screenings and glasses
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 2:53 PM EDT|Updated: May. 15, 2023 at 2:55 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -Students at Heritage Academy Elementary School were all given free vision screenings due to a partnership between Atlanta Public Schools, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, and Kia.

“Vision is a big part of education and believe it or not, when our students have difficulty with vision, it has a profound impact on them being able to access their education in the most effective ways,” said Principal Trennis Harvey. “This opportunity provides a resource that many of our parents may not have access to.”

“Many of the parents are working more than one job to make ends meet and they really don’t have the time to take off and go and get an exam and see if they need glasses,” said Beth Ehrhardt, the executive director of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation has found many students in Title One schools have never had a vision screening before.

“You never know what you don’t have. And so the blurred vision is normal for them and so this gives them the opportunity to see what they may not have seen or been able to see previously,” said Harvey.

According to the Emory Eye Center, nearly 22% of kids ages six to 11 have vision problems.

“There are certain problems that can happen for children very young at age that if they don’t get them fixed early on, maybe they just need an easy surgery, then they could be impaired for the rest of their lives,” said Ehrhardt.

That’s why it’s so important to do these eye exams

“We just watched a student who was really struggling with vision but we’ve never noticed it in class because kids, especially kindergarteners, our younger kids, they’re just not going to be able to express, ‘Hey, I can’t see,’ or ‘This is blurry’ or ‘This doesn’t look right,’” said Harvey.

For any of the students who need glasses after their exams, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation will pay for their first pair.