51 children at Oak Park Elementary School Students were delighted today when the San Diego Padres helped them try on their brand new glasses. The glasses were provided through a collaboration between nonprofit provider Vision To Learn and San Diego Unified, which will provide on-site vision care to thousands of students in the year to come.
An estimated 54,000 children in San Diego County go to school every day without the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, or participate in class. Through this collaboration, thousands of students attending San Diego Unified Title I schools will be provided a vision screening, eye exam, and – if needed – a pair of glasses, free of charge.
“Vision To Learn began eight years ago in California, and we are thrilled to be bringing our service to kids in San Diego,” said Vision To Learn President Ann Hollister. “By providing free eye exams at school, Vision To Learn helps students get the glasses they need to succeed.”
As San Diego Unified enters 2020, we want to make sure our students are all seeing 20/20,” said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten. “Through this program, students who need glasses, will get glasses – and as a result, they’ll do better at school.”
Oak Park Elementary School is among the first SDUSD schools to be served by this effort. In the past month, 531 students were provided with vision screenings, 65 students received eye exams, and 51 were prescribed and provided glasses.
Research by faculty from the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA about students who received glasses from Vision To Learn showed the students’ grades improved and they were more engaged in the classroom. Students with untreated vision problems often struggle at school, and they are less likely to achieve reading proficiency by third grade, putting them at greater risk of dropping out.
The initiative is supported with funding by Price Philanthropies, Deerbrook Charitable Trust, and in-kind support from the Essilor Vision Foundation.
Price Philanthropies is proud to support Vision To Learn’s program in San Diego Unified,” said Price Philanthropies Foundation President Robert Price. “No child should go without the glasses they need to excel at school.”
Vision To Learn has partnered with the San Diego Padres for the project; a new Padres-themed mobile clinic and appearances from players will promote the importance of student eye health, and help make getting glasses fun for kids. Padres representatives at Tuesday’s event included the Swingin’ Friar and the Pad Squad, who cheered for kids as they put on their new glasses.
The San Diego Padres Foundation is dedicated to helping underserved youth in San Diego,” said Tom Seidler, SVP, Community & Military Affairs, San Diego Padres. “Vision To Learn’s program provides eye exams and glasses to kids who otherwise would go without, so that they may succeed in the classroom and on the baseball field.”