Delaware was Vision To Learn’s first expansion state outside of California. The October 2014 program launch at Red Clay Consolidated District’s Shortlidge Academy was attended by state leaders including Senator Chris Coons, Governor Jack Markell, and Health Secretary Rita Landgraf. The program serves students in public and charter schools throughout the state.
Vision To Learn was credentialed as a Medicaid provider for the first time in Delaware 2015. This was the first step towards Vision To Learn’s transitioning to a public-private partnership model, with Delaware Medicaid currently covering 40% of Vision To Learn’s exams in the state. Generous local funders including the Longwood Foundation have helped grow the program, which celebrated providing its 3,000th pair of glasses in April 2017. Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki authored an Op-ed commemorating the program’s success, which can be read here.
A further step towards program sustainability came in the form of a “health services initiative” requested by Delaware, and granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This authorizes Delaware to utilize administrative funding from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to support expansion of student vision care. This funding covers students who are not enrolled in Medicaid, and allows additional public funds to support Delaware children getting the glasses they need.
Fast-forward to May of 2019, and Delaware was chosen as the site for the celebration of a major milestone: 200,000 students helped nationwide by Vision To Learn. Delaware’s Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons were on hand for the exciting occasion, as was Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, where 70 kids at Stubbs Elementary School received their glasses. Senator Chris Coons, who was instrumental in bringing the program to the First State, offered his congratulations and continued support of our work: “Vision To Learn’s program demonstrates every day that the problem of kids at school who lack needed glasses is serious, sweeping–and solvable.”
When the ability to provide health services was impacted by health restrictions implemented during the 2019-2020 school year, Vision To Learn Delaware worked closely with Colonial School District and Capital School District to pivot to an appointment-based model. This change allowed the program to continue to effectively serve students throughout the state. When the 2020-2021 school year came around the program was back to operating at full capacity and provided over 2,700 kids with glasses at no-cost to them or their families.
Mike and Robert Abel Jr., MD
The Carol A. Ammon Fund
Barclays Bank Delaware
Roger and Marcia Beutner
The Christmas Shop Foundation
Deerbrook Charitable Trust
Delaware Community Foundation
William C. Dugdale and Sydney Van Dyke
OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation
The Gilliam Foundation
Good Samaritan Fund
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
I Could Do Great Things Foundation
Milton and Hattie Kutz Foundation
Longwood Foundation, Inc.
The Marvin Family Foundation
New Castle Presbytery Fund
Pettinaro Family Charitable Fund
Rodel Foundation of Delaware
Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Philadelphia
Sussex County Human Services
Noreen and Edward Welch
Welfare Foundation, Inc.
Wilmington Flower Market
Vision To Learn, Delaware
Tina Danz, Program Manager
+1 (302) 803-6549
Questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org