This post was written by Nancy Prail, HKI ChildSight® Director.
What a summer our ChildSight® sites have had! New York, New Jersey and Connecticut survived an earthquake and then flooding from Hurricane Irene. Los Angeles braved Carmageddon, and New Mexico and Ohio endured record-breaking heat. But, we all came through these challenges ok, and as happens every year right after Labor Day, we said good-bye to summer and hello to a new school year!
As children flock to schools with brand new notebooks, pencils, and back-to-school outfits, there is an undeniable excitement in the air. However, for some, the hope of a fresh start turns into frustration and disappointment when they begin to struggle with school work simply because they cannot see the blackboard well enough to complete their lessons.
As I work with ChildSight® program managers across the country to prepare for the new school year, I am reminded of how essential the program is for the many students to succeed in school. Eyeglasses are as essential as pen, paper and books, and the lack of a simple pair of eyeglasses can hold back so many promising young students from achieving their full academic potential. ChildSight® fills that gap by providing free on-site vision screenings, prescription eyeglasses, and referrals for further care (as needed) for children living in poverty in the United States.
ChildSight® had been providing services since 1994, but the stark reality of today’s economic climate is that families need us now more than ever. And, while the demand for our program has grown, so has the financial pressures on our funders.
Last year, we screened over 84,000 students and provided over 16,000 free eyeglasses to children in need. The video below tells the story of José from the Bronx, NY and how free eyeglasses from ChildSight® made a difference for him:
I am humbled and honored to be part of a program that helps children like José succeed in school and life, and I hope this school year ChildSight® will “bring education into focus™” for even more students.
If you’d like to make a donation to ChildSight®, please click here.