Vision To Learn and Atlanta Public Schools (APS) announced a program to provide eye care to all 50,000 students, k-12, in APS. After an initial vision screening, an eye exam and glasses will be provided to any child who needs them. An estimated 7,500 kids in APS go to school every day without the glasses they need to see the board, read a book or participate in the classroom.
49 students put on their new glasses for the first time today at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy in Vine City. Participating in the launch of the effort were Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen, APS Board Chair Courtney English and Board Member Byron Amos, and Vision To Learn Founder Austin Beutner.
“Vision To Learn serves kids in more than 200 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore,” Austin Beutner, Founder of Vision To Learn, said. “We are delighted to expand our services to Atlanta, and to be working with Atlanta Public Schools to provide students with the glasses they need to succeed in school and in life. It’s magical to watch the kids put on their glasses and see the world in a whole different way.”
“Thousands of students in Atlanta Public Schools have vision issues. With the help of Vision To Learn, we will make sure every student who needs glasses, is provided with them,” said Superintendent Carstarphen. “This effort will help more than 7,500 kids in Atlanta see the board, read a book and participate in class.”
Vision To Learn will provide vision screenings to every child in Atlanta Public Schools, and its clinics will travel to schools and provide each child who did not pass the screening with an eye exam. If the child needs glasses, he or she can choose their very own style and frame, and the glasses will be provided to the child at school within two weeks, all free of charge.
The Vision To Learn efforts in Atlanta are supported, in part, by the Chick-fil-A Foundation, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Vision To Learn began operations with one van in Los Angeles in 2012, and now serves students in low-income communities in 9 states and more than 200 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore. Vision To Learn serves the needs of the hardest-to-reach children in low-income communities; more than 89% of kids served by Vision To Learn live in poverty and 87% of kids of color. Since its inception, Vision To Learn has helped screen over 500,000 students, provided more than 90,000 with eye exams, and more than 70,000 with glasses, all free of charge.
UCLA research shows that Vision To Learn improves grades for children who receive glasses from the program and improves the learning environment for the entire classroom and school. The UCLA research can be found at https://visiontolearn.org/impact/ucla-study-impact-analysis-of-vision-to-learn/.