Launching in May 2017, Vision To Learn New Jersey began by helping children in Pre-K through 3rd grade in Newark Public Schools thanks to generous funding provided by Laura and John Overdeck of the Overdeck Family Foundation.
June 1, 2017 marks the inaugural day of the program hosted by Speedway Academies in Newark, where Jay Bromley, then a New York Giants defensive tackle, made a surprise appearance. Newark Public Schools is New Jersey’s largest school district, with an enrollment of almost 35,000 kids. Vision To Learn has provided over 7,000 vision screenings, 2,700 eye exams and 2,000 pairs of glasses in the first year of this program.
In March 2019, an expansion of services was celebrated, marking a widening of efforts to provide free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to all Pre-K to 8th grade students in Jersey City, Orange and East Orange public schools by January 2020. Funded by Overdeck Family Foundation, the program, with the help of Helen Keller International’s mobile teams, is expected to reach 31,000 students and distribute 6,300 pairs of glasses.
“Whether it’s reading a book or seeing the board, students need to see clearly in and out of the classroom to reach their full potential,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “I’m grateful to Overdeck Family Foundation, Vision To Learn, Helen Keller International and Jersey City Public Schools for their innovative public-private partnership to provide new vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to all Pre-K to 8th grade students in the Jersey City School District. Building a stronger and fairer New Jersey means giving all our students the tools they need to excel academically.”
In March 2020, through funding provided by the Joe and Terry McGrath Foundation, Vision To Learn launched in Paterson, New Jersey. With additional support from PSE&G Foundation, Vision To Learn will be able to expand vision care to pre-K through 8th grade students in seven of the highest-need elementary schools in Paterson, where it is estimated that over 9,000 children do not have the glasses they need to see and learn to their potential. Vision To Learn will help 1,000 Paterson students and, with support from the Overdeck Family Foundation and Helen Keller International, launch projects in Elizabeth, Trenton and Camden.
New Jersey Supporters
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
The Giants Foundation
Health Care Foundation of New Jersey
Helen Keller International
The Joe and Terry McGrath Foundation
Overdeck Family Foundation
Provident Bank Foundation
Rathmann Challenge Grant
The Edward W. and Stella C. Van Houten Memorial Fund
Partner Schools and Programs
After-School All-Stars Network
Certified Angels, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Garfield
Boys & Girls Club of Jersey City
Boys & Girls Club of Newark
Boys & Girls Club of Union
East Orange Public Schools
Jersey City Public Schools
Newark Public Schools
Orange Public Schools
Paterson Public Schools
Paterson Recreation Department
Vision To Learn, New Jersey
Giovanni Restrepo, Program Director
+1 (201) 705-9104
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