Attorney General Kamala Harris, Eric Sogard of the Oakland Athletics, Radio Personality Big Boy, and CTA President Dean Vogel join with Vision To Learn Founder Austin Beutner to help kids
As many as 5,500 children need glasses in the Oakland community
Austin Beutner, Vision To Learn Founder and Chairman, was joined today by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Eric Sogard of the Oakland A’s, Big Boy from Power 106 and Dean Vogel, President of the California Teachers Association, to announce Vision To Learn’s expansion to the Oakland community. At an event held at Franklin Elementary School, Beutner and the other guests at Franklin participated in a tour of Vision To Learn’s Mobile Eye Clinic and provided free eyeglasses to more than 50 children as part of Vision To Learn’s partnership with Oakland Unified School District.
Vision To Learn solves a problem affecting as many as 250,000 children in California who lack the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, study math or participate in class, and kids in low-income communities and minorities are disproportionately affected. Of the more than 46,000 elementary school kids enrolled in Oakland Unified schools, as many as 5,500 do not have the glasses they need to succeed in school and life. The problem is one of access as most of the kids, for a host of reasons, do not get to a doctor. Vision To Learn solves the problem by bringing the clinic to the kids at schools and community organizations and providing eye exams and glasses free of charge.
“Vision To Learn is providing services to the hardest-to-reach, poverty-stricken communities throughout California and today they bring this critical service to Oakland schools,” said Attorney General Harris. “I have been a staunch advocate for eradicating truancy in our schools and one key component of that work will be ensuring our students receive the resources they need to succeed in school. I applaud Austin’s leadership in creating Vision To Learn and his whole team for the work they are doing to help so many kids across the state.”
“Vision To Learn’s expansion to Oakland is progress toward our goal to help the 250,000 kids throughout California who do not have the glasses they need,” Beutner said. “We are working to give these children a chance to succeed in school and life. With partners like the Oakland A’s and the commitment and support of California state leaders like Attorney General Harris, we will be able to realize this goal.”
Research shows 80% of all learning during a child’s first 12 years is obtained through vision and 95% of 1st graders in California who need glasses do not have them. Vision To Learn solves this problem by bringing eye doctors to kids at schools and youth organizations where children are found everyday. Vision To Learn’s trained staff takes the Mobile Eye Clinics directly to schools and community organizations in low-income communities to provide free eye exams and free glasses to kids.
“Vision To Learn is an incredible program providing valuable and very needed care to children in Oakland Unified schools. We know it will make a difference in the lives of our students,” said Superintendent Gary Yee.
“I think Vision to Learn is a god-sent program. Just being able to provide such a great service to our kids is amazing. When I first learned from Austin that so many kids have been perceived as being ‘challenged’ in school learning, when it was simply due to their not being able to see the board clearly – I was shocked,” said Radio Personality Big Boy. “Now we have a solution and we can provide them clear vision, a fair chance at learning and prospering. I am honored to be a part of this movement.”
“Vision To Learn helps make California schools more effective by creating a better learning environment for all of the students in the classroom. CTA is pleased to support the work of Vision To Learn including its efforts to serve kids in Oakland,” said CTA President Dean Vogel.
Since it started just two short years ago, Vision To Learn has helped screen over 125,000 kids in Los Angeles and Sacramento, provided over 20,000 with eye exams and more than 16,000 with free glasses. Vision To Learn serves the needs of the hardest-to-reach kids in low-income, urban communities. UCLA research also shows Vision To Learn helps improve the learning environment for the entire classroom and school.
About Oakland A’s
The Oakland Athletics organization, in conjunction with the A’s Community Fund, strives to make a positive impact in the Bay Area and Northern California. A’s players, coaches, and front office employees, together with fans and sponsors, are committed to meeting the social, cultural and educational demands in the community. The A’s host numerous fundraising events, implement several educational programs, and support various organizations that reach out to people of diverse backgrounds throughout the community