ChildSight® New Mexico continues to see an exceptionally high rate of refractive error. Of the 5,045 children in Gallup-McKinley County we screened in the 2011-2012 academic year, 1,981 required a pair of eyeglasses-- 39% of the total number of students screened! Among the three types of refractive error, astigmatism tends to afflict Native American children at a higher rate than other groups in the United States, something HKI monitors closely each year.
Compounding this high prevalence, is the critical level of rural poverty within the Navajo Reservation. ChildSight® remains a bright spot in this community where vision care is neither affordable nor accessible to the vast majority of families. By supplying this basic learning tool, ChildSight® helps to ensure these students can take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Often, the most compelling iteration of the program's impact can be heard in the words of the school teachers and administrators:
“I strongly agree that providing students who need glasses with a pair will improve in school performance. Some students come from disadvantaged families, and with ChildSight® eyeglasses, students are able to see the smart board and read text more clearly. Grades have improved because of eyeglasses provided to students who needed them. A particular student in my classroom had experienced headaches; a referral was made to have her eyes checked. Now, with the help of ChildSight®, she has a brand new pair of glasses to use daily.”
--Ms. Largo, Mathematics & Reading teacher, Crownpoint Community School
“ChildSight® helped me by ending the frustrations of students in class when they cannot see clearly. I have a couple of students in class who were hesitant and very reluctant to read aloud, not because they couldn’t read but they couldn’t see the material clearly. With glasses they can see the material and their reading is more fluid. As a Language Arts teacher, I appreciate ChildSight® and what the program has done for our students. When students see better they almost always perform better and they have more confident in reading.”
--Mr. Botello, Language Arts teacher, Chief Manuelito Middle School
“This program has made eyeglasses available to young people who otherwise would not have them. They can now see to do their work without eye strain! I noticed one young man in particular reading the Hunger Games books; I have never seen him reading before. This same student use to lean within five inches of the computer screen to read. Thank you ChildSight®!"
--Ms. Rock, Principal at Shiprock Career Prep High School
Please click here for a detailed description (PDF) of the New Mexico program.