An interview with HKI's Director of Childsight®
How many people can say that their job brings instant gratification through very simple solutions? Ask Nancy Prail (left in blue shirt), our Director of Childsight®, and she will tell you it happens to her all the time.
Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® program serves at-risk children living in urban and rural poverty by offering free vision screenings and eyeglasses. ChildSight® overcomes the two biggest barriers to childhood vision care: prohibitive cost and limited access. Since 1994, ChildSight® has screened over 1.4 million students in the U.S. and has provided free eyeglasses to over 186,000 of the nation’s most vulnerable children. The result is a significant increase in class participation, a reduction in disruptive behavior and a dramatic improvement in self-confidence. Click here to watch HKI’s video on the Childsight® program.
A week of awareness for vision and nutrition.
What do Sight and Food have to do with one another? Well, for one thing, both have official celebrations this week! Today, October 13th, is World Sight Day, and Sunday, October 16th is World Food Day.
Your ability to see is greatly affected by the nutrients you eat. In fact, Helen Keller International collaborated on the groundbreaking research in the 1970s that first identified that a lack of vitamin A can not only cause blindness, but can also compromise the immune system, which, in turn, increases the risk of death from diseases such as malaria, measles and diarrhea.
A new year of "bringing education into focus™" begins.
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.
Critical funding for ChildSight® lost.
This post was written by HKI’s Vice President of Eye Health, Nick Kourgialis.
Last month, a $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill containing direct funding support for thousands of projects suggested by lawmakers, known as earmarks, died in the U.S. Senate before a single vote was cast. Its fate was decided due to growing opposition to government spending, but the bill contained many worthwhile projects for education, health, defense, energy and infrastructure.
Many taxpayers associate earmarks with wasteful “pork barrel” spending and criticize them because lawmakers are allowed to direct funds to a specific project or recipient without any public hearing or review.
What’s lost among the (often justified) outcry against earmarks is the enormous number of worthwhile charitable efforts that were supported through this much-maligned funding mechanism.
Support HKI with L’OCCITANE Holiday Greeting Cards
This post was written by HKI’s ChildSight® grant writer, Jill Mosebach
I never gave much thought to the soothing properties of lavender. But there I stood in a scented L’OCCITANE boutique in lower Manhattan registering to win a trip to Provence. My initial quest was to find holiday greeting cards, which were scheduled to arrive in L’OCCITANE boutiques on November 29th.
A sales associate named Annie pointed to a basket in front of the register and cheered, “Yes! 100% of the proceeds go to the Helen Keller Foundation to give children free glasses. I love this!”
She was mostly correct (it is Helen Keller International) and wholly genuine.
HKI’s ChildSight® program “brings education into focus™” for an 8th grade student in the Bronx.
I don’t take my 20/20 sight for granted. I’ve worn glasses or contacts most of my life – as do my parents and both my brothers. But I do forget how life-changing my first glasses were. That moment when the world turned from blurry to clear was incredible, not to mention all the possibilities my newly-corrected vision afforded me. I was reminded of how important eyeglasses are to academic and personal success during a recent visit I made with Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® team to Thomas C. Giordano Junior High School in the Bronx, New York.