More than 30 students are receiving eyeglasses today at Kahuku High and Intermediate School thanks to funding by Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, in collaboration with Project Vision Hawai`i and Vision To Learn.
Kahuku is one of 17 Windward schools benefitting from the foundation’s vision program and partnership with the two nonprofit providers. Project Vision Hawai`i handles preliminary screenings for all students. Approximately 700 are being referred for free eye exams and glasses, provided at school by Vision To Learn.
Students trying on their glasses for the first time is expected to be the centerpiece of Tuesday’s celebratory event. Kahuku High and Intermediate School is the most recent school to be served. Over the past month, 1,387 Kahuku students were screened and 150 (11% percent) were found to have a potential vision problem, but did not have glasses. 54 students received eye exams, and 37 were prescribed glasses. Additional exams are scheduled in January.
Every school day, more than 18,000 Hawaii children go to their classrooms without the glasses they need to clearly see the board, read a book, view an electronic device or participate in classroom activities. The primary hurdle is a lack of access to vision services for students in low-income communities. To combat this problem, Project Vision Hawai`i and Vision To Learn bring vision services to students at school using mobile clinic vans. The organizations have partnered since 2015, to provide more than 45,000 students with vision screenings and 1,700 students with eye exams.
“Any students unable to do their best simply because no one knows that they need glasses is not OK,” said Annie Valentin, CEO of Project Vision Hawaii. “We are committed to giving as many families as possible who need them free exams and glasses.”
“Vision To Learn is delighted to give Hawai`i children the glasses they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Vision To Learn President Ann Hollister. “We are grateful to the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation for helping bring services to students in Windward, together with our partners at Project Vision Hawai`i.”
Beside the funding from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the program is also supported by City and County of Honolulu, and the State of Hawaii.
“Vision is where success in life starts,” said Terrence R. George, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation President and CEO. “When you can see what your teacher and classmates are communicating, you are able to take the next step in school and in society.”
About Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
Headquartered in Kailua, Oahu, and founded in 1962 by the owner of Kaneohe Ranch, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation whose mission is to close the achievement and preparation gaps in public and higher education across the state, to restore nearshore marine ecosystems in the Main Hawaiian Islands, and to strengthen the vibrancy of Windward Oahu communities. Visit us at www.castlefoundation.org and at https://facebook.com/haroldklcastlefoundation.
About Project Vision Hawaii
Project Vison Hawaii, a Hawaii based nonprofit, eliminates poor vision as a barrier to children’s success in school and in life. Project Vision Hawaii’s comprehensive vision program is quickly becoming known as the gold standard for identifying children with undetected vision problems, particularly in schools and preschools. Detecting vision problems is the first step in providing life-changing services to children sitting in classrooms unable to see clearly, and ultimately learn. For more information about Project Vision Hawaii, visit: http://www.projectvisionhawaii.org/