Thousands Richmond Public Schools students will receive free vision care as a part of an initiative announced by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Mayor Levar Stoney.
All Richmond Public Schools students will receive free vision screenings. Those who do not pass the screening will receive eye exams, and if needed glasses.
The effort began on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School. Over the past month, all 389 students at the school were screened, and 32 percent were found to have a potential vision problem. One hundred four students received eye exams, and 97 were prescribed glasses, according to a press release.
“If you can’t see, you can’t read. And if you can’t read, you can’t succeed,” said Mayor Stoney. “Richmond is grateful for this partnership and proud to be the first Virginia community in which every child, K-12, will be provided the glasses they need to achieve inside and outside of the classroom.”
Cnexus will provide the screenings, and Vision To Learn will provide eye exams and glasses.
“We’re delighted to provide kids in Richmond the glasses they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Vision To Learn Founder and Chairman, Austin Beutner. “Vision To Learn serves kids in more than 200 cities from Baltimore to Hawaii. We look forward to working with Governor McAuliffe, Mayor Stoney, Richmond Public Schools, and Conexus to help kids in Richmond.”
“Launching this program in Richmond is the first step toward ensuring that our students have all of the tools they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Governor McAuliffe, who signed legislation this year codifying routine and high-quality eye exams in public schools in Virginia. “Across the Commonwealth, an estimated 100,000 students lack eyeglasses. That’s why the work of organizations like Conexus and Vision to Learn is so critical. Through efforts like these, we can help thousands more students obtain the skills needed to thrive in the new Virginia economy.”
The initiative is supported with funding by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Robins Foundation, and Richmond Community Foundation.
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