The San Jose work is part of a broader effort by Vision To Learn and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help kids in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
Students at Hubbard Media Arts Academy were delighted today when San Jose Shark’s S.J. Sharkie helped them try on their brand new glasses. The glasses were provided by non-profit Vision To Learn, which kicked off its fourth year serving students in Santa Clara County by providing free glasses to 24 students from kindergarten through seventh grade at Hubbard.
“Vision To Learn provides kids with the glasses they need to succeed in school, and in life,” said Austin Beutner, Founder and Chair of Vision To Learn. “The support from the Sharks Foundation will help us serve many more kids.”
Vision To Learn has served students throughout Santa Clara County since 2014. To date, Vision To Learn has provided more than 2,800 students in the area with eye exams and 2,600 with glasses.
A multi-year, $100,000 sponsorship from the Sharks Foundation has helped fund a mobile clinic dedicated to the San Jose area. The Sharks clinic will be on display at the Hubbard event.
“We’re thrilled that during our focus on Healthy Living this month we can support students doing better at school, and in sports, through healthy vision. We know seeing Sharks mascot S.J. Sharkie on the Vision To Learn mobile clinic will encourage kids to wear their new glasses,” said Heather Hooper, Director, Sharks Foundation.
In the coming school year, Vision To Learn will provide more than 3,000 students in Santa Clara County with glasses, including more than 500 in Alum Rock Union Elementary School District.
“Alum Rock and our school nurses are excited to work with Vision To Learn to help students achieve in the classroom and beyond,” said Superintendent Hilaria Bauer.
The effort is the first step in a broader plan Vision To Learn is working on to make sure all kids in the nine counties of the Bay Area, and Sacramento, have the glasses they need. This nine-county/ Sacramento plan is supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Jim Shelton, President of Education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, added “Vision To Learn’s program immediately removes a simple but significant barrier to learning and achievement for tens of thousands of students. Working together, leaders in the public and private sector can expand this solution to the two million children for whom vision problems are a key barrier to reaching their potential. Failing to do so, when there is a known and cost-effective solution, would be more than a shame.”
Vision To Learn began operations with one van in Los Angeles in 2012, and now helps kids in low-income communities in nine 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 children of color. Since its inception, Vision To Learn has helped screen over 500,000 students, provided almost 95,000 with eye exams, and almost 75,000 with glasses, all free of charge.
The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth and families in our community with an emphasis in the areas of education, health and safety, and character development. During the 2016-17 season, the Sharks Foundation donated a record-breaking $1.8 million in funding to support the Bay Area. Since its inception in 1994, the Foundation has given more than $12 million to thousands of high-performing non-profit organizations serving youth and families in need. To learn more about how the Sharks Foundation is helping underserved children and families in the community, visit SharksFoundation.org.