Vision To Learn, the nation’s largest non-profit providing free eye exams and free glasses to children in low-income communities, held an event in East Palo Alto to celebrate an important milestone: the organization has helped more than 100,000 kids since its founding in 2012. Participating in this celebratory event were multi-platinum music mogul, entertainer and philanthropist Percy (Master P) Miller; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative President of Policy and Advocacy David Plouffe; Vision To Learn Founder Austin Beutner; and the Golden State Warriors Dance Team. Over 40 kids tried on their glasses for the first time at Ronald McNair Academy, in Ravenswood City School District.
An estimated two million students nationwide lack the glasses they need at school. Founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, Vision To Learn has quickly grown to become the largest program in the nation providing eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities, in more than 200 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore. In the South Bay, in districts including San Jose, Alum Rock, and Campbell Union, Vision To Learn has helped over 6,800 kids to date.
“Helping 100,000 kids is just the beginning,” said Austin Beutner, Founder and Chair of Vision To Learn. “Vision To Learn’s mission is to help every child get the glasses they need to succeed in school, and in life.”
Vision To Learn’s program is supported by many generous funders, including community foundations, corporate sponsors, professional sports teams, government grants, and individuals. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has provided grant funding supporting Vision To Learn’s program in the 9 County Bay Area and Sacramento, and its expansion to new states.
“CZI is proud to support Vision To Learn, a program that provides direct, measurable help to kids in need,” said David Plouffe, President, Policy and Advocacy. “By providing kids the basic educational tool of a pair of glasses, we will help them reach their full potential in the classroom.”
Music mogul and producer Master P participated in the event, and spoke to the kids about his own experience needing glasses. “I came to tell these kids personally that wearing their glasses is cool,” said Master P. “I look at these kids and I see myself at their age. These glasses will help them achieve their dreams.”
Vision To Learn has been supported for several years by the Warriors Community Foundation. The partnership includes funding to help students, and Vision To Learn’s mobile clinic features kids in Warriors gear. The Warriors invited several dozens of kids helped by Vision To Learn, and their families, to be recognized at Saturday’s game at Oracle Arena.
Founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, Vision To Learn now helps students in low-income communities in 10 states and more than 200 cities, from Honolulu to Baltimore. Today’s event will underscore not just the increasing number of students helped by Vision To Learn, but the growing national reach of the organization.
About Vision To Learn
Vision To Learn started with one van in Los Angeles in 2012, and now helps kids in low-income communities in 10 states and more than 200 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore. Vision To Learn serves the needs of the hardest-to-reach children; more than 89% of kids served by Vision To Learn live in poverty and 87% are kids of color. Since its inception, Vision To Learn has helped screen over 550,000 kids, and provided 100,000 with eye exams and glasses, all free of charge. For more information on Vision to Learn, please visit www.visiontolearn.org.
About The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was launched in December 2015 by Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and founder and CEO of The Primary School in East Palo Alto. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a new kind of philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing human potential and promoting equal opportunity through engineering, grant making, impact investing, policy and advocacy work. Initial areas of focus include science and education.
About the Warriors Community Foundation
The Warriors Community Foundation is dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the lives of underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation awards grants to support educational equity in Alameda and San Francisco Counties, rebuilds public basketball courts around the Bay Area and donates thousands of tickets each season to local schools and nonprofits. Established in 2012, the Foundation is sustained by generous contributions from Warriors owners, players, partners and fans. To learn more, visit warriors.com/foundation or follow the Foundation on Twitter (@GSWFoundation) and Instagram (@GSWFoundation).
About TEAM HOPE NOLA
TEAM HOPE NOLA is a 501(c)(3) that was started to help the youth of New Orleans through educational programs, sports and mentorships. In the beginning music mogul, philanthropist Percy (Master P) Miller called on former NBA coach Robert Pack to assist with the children of the city they both call home. In the past several years Percy and his team have helped over one million children and adults throughout the country by giving back to the inner cities. From the City of Compton to Orlando, Florida, Team Hope shows up with back to school giveaways, thanksgiving food drives, Christmas giveaways and scholarships for students. THN’s mission is to lend a hand when and wherever the can.
About Ravenswood City School District
The Ravenswood City School District (RCSD) in San Mateo County is a unique academic environment that draws from the culturally rich communities of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. The ethnic make-up of the population is predominantly Hispanic (79%), African American (10%), Pacific Islander (9%) and other (2%). RCSD serves some 4,200 students in kindergarten through eighth grades in eight schools that includes a child development center, one middle school, one dual immersion academy and five schools that include 6th through 8th grade.