This week, approximately 60 Delaware City Schools students will receive free eye examinations and frames as part of the iSee (In School Eye Exam) program.
A number of doctors, optometrists, and optometry students volunteered their time at the Willis Education Center on Wednesday and then again today to assist students who have been previously flagged as needing vision assistance.
Dempsey Middle School Nurse Kelly Wagner said Delaware City Schools does districtwide vision screenings and flag students who may need glasses. However, for a variety of reasons, she said, sometimes the students’ families aren’t able to follow up and get the student glasses.
Wagner said she organized the event with iSee and was delighted to see nearly 60 students sign up for the two-day event. She added after the eye exams, students will get a prescription and choose frames. Wagner said the glasses will arrive for students in about two weeks.
“It’s amazing to work with super passionate people,” Wagner said. “It’s amazing. They are amazing.”
One of the doctors running the event, Dr. Cheryl Archer, said Wednesday that 80 percent of learning is visual, and students having glasses to help them see better is the key to succeeding.
“It’s very important to be able to see to be able to learn,” Archer said. “Sometimes it’s easier to come to them rather than them come to us. Just another way to get it done for them. I’ve talked to a lot of school nurses, and they are trying very hard to make sure all the kids are taken care of. We are trying to help them do their jobs, so all these kids can see to learn.”
iSee reported the program was started by Archer in 2008. It has visited 22 school districts in Ohio and given examinations to more than 1,200 students. Archer and her husband, Dr. John Archer, are based in Lima, but she said that the doctors and optometrists came from all over Ohio for the event.
Dr. Tracey Needham said iSee wants to help students succeed in the classroom, and that’s why volunteers come from all over.
“It helps them get set up for a lifetime of better vision,” Needham said.
Needham added it falls on the student’s parents to keep up with their child’s vision needs.
According to Needham, the value of the examinations and the eyewear totals about $250 per student. The equipment was provided by Walman Instruments, the frames were provided by 141 Eyewear, and the lenses were provided by Essilor Labs. Needham said the iSee program is funded in part through a grant from Optometry Cares, The AOA Foundation, and the Essilor Vision Foundation.
Delaware City Schools Board of Education President Jayna McDaniel-Browning volunteered at the event and helped organize the students coming from elementary schools.
“Good vision is such a critical component for academic success,” McDaniel-Browning said. “We are grateful that kids who might not be able to get regular eye exams have this opportunity. (iSee) is incredibly generous. It’s a great thing for our kids.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.