Kids Vision Fest To Provide Eye Exams And Glasses At No Cost To 800 Children
By Essilor News
FORT WORTH, Texas – The facts are eye-opening. Approximately 80% of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through his eyes, and 25% of all school children in the U.S. have a vision problem significant enough to affect learning. Yet 90% of children who need glasses do not have them – and that inability to see properly can ultimately affect a child’s academic performance, his behavior, his self-esteem and even his or her long-term success in life.
In an effort to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences, the Kids Vision for Life Tarrant County program will host its annual Kids Vision Fest on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus. The event will be held at Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus, located at 300 Trinity Campus Circle, Fort Worth. Open to the public, the festival will provide eye exams and eyeglasses at no cost to the family to children ages 5 to 12 who qualify based on need (according to the 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines). More than 100 volunteers will support this event.
NOTE: Friday, January 16 is a school holiday for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Services will be provided to Tarrant County children on a first-come, first-served basis.
“At Alcon, our mission is to help people see better, and we believe that everyone should have access to proper eye care no matter their economic means,” said Bettina Maunz, President of the Alcon Foundation. “Childhood is a critical time to detect potential vision and eye health issues that could have life-long, detrimental effects if not properly addressed. I am proud of what the Kids Vision for Life program has been able to accomplish in Tarrant County over the past years to make good eye care more accessible to children in need and we are committed to expanding our partnership in this and other US locations where Alcon has a presence.”
Kids Vision Fest organizers estimate that approximately 800 children whose families cannot afford vision care will receive eye exams and new glasses at no cost to the family. Dozens of optometrists and eyecare professionals along with two ophthalmologists will be on hand to provide the services. If an eye doctor determines a child needs glasses, the child will choose from the latest, top-quality styles in eyeglass frames. The glasses will be delivered to the child’s school in about four to five weeks.
“It’s hard to believe that one in four American children has an uncorrected vision problem – and that number jumps to 53 percent for children who live in poverty,” said Dr. Howard Purcell, senior vice president of Essilor USA and a member of the Kids Vision for Life Advisory Committee. “To think that getting a child a pair of glasses might play a role in preventing a child from lifelong struggles – with literacy and academics, low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty and crime – is a pretty amazing thing. That’s why Essilor Vision Foundation is so committed to Kids Vision Fest and year-round efforts to get glasses to children who desperately need them.”
Tarrant County College is especially eager to host Kids Vision Fest in light of last year’s cancellation due to bad weather. So far, the forecast looks good, and a big crowd is expected since organizers have done extensive outreach to schools and community groups.
“Tarrant County College is looking forward to hosting Kids Vision Fest 2015, since inclement weather forced the cancellation of last year’s event. We welcome the opportunity to once again serve as the catalyst that connects students throughout Tarrant County with the resources that can improve their vision at no cost to them,” said Tarrant County College Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. “Every student in Tarrant County is a future Tarrant County College student. It is imperative that we do all we can to remove barriers that could hinder their success that is intrinsically tied to their ability to clearly see so they can fully experience what they are being taught in their primary years.”
The first Kids Vision Fest event was held in 2010 at the Dallas Public Library when former First Lady Laura Bush helped launch the initiative. As a former librarian and teacher, Mrs. Bush understood the importance of good vision care, stating that “being able to see clearly is vital to literacy.” Since that inaugural year, events have been held in Dallas and Fort Worth annually, and more than 2,500 children have received new eyeglasses as a result.
This event is funded by the Alcon Foundation and the Essilor Vision Foundation and is supported by Kids Vision for Life – Tarrant County.
Parking will be available in nearby lots with public transportation located nearby. For more information about Kids Vision Fest, please go to KidsVisionForLife.org.
About Kids Vision For Life
Kids Vision for Life is a charitable program created in 2008 by Essilor Vision Foundation, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) public charity founded by Essilor of America with the mission to “eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences.” The program brings together non-profit organizations, schools, businesses, and community leaders to provide vision screenings, eye exams, and eyeglasses to children, ages 5-12, at no cost to the family through mobile clinics, schools and special events in communities across the U.S. To learn more or donate, visit www.kidsvisionforlife.org. Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter.
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