Great Glasses Play Day Event Highlighting Children’s Vision Health to Return for Second Year

By
MINNEAPOLIS—The Great Glasses Play Day, celebrating children who wear glasses or have other vision issues, is scheduled to return for its second annual celebration on Aug. 4, 2013. The international event, based here, is slated to take place in parks and playgrounds around the country, as well as online.

In 2012 the Great Glasses Play Day reached five cities in the U.S. and abroad (as featured in Vision Monday’s Aug. 27, 2012 issue). This year, event organizers intend to reach 10 cities or more, building on the success of last year’s event, which also attracted over 1,600 unique visitors online.

Co-founded by Ann Zawistoski of Little Four Eyes and Kristin Ellsworth of Peeps Eyewear, the event is intended to boost children’s self-esteem as well as the public’s awareness of early childhood vision health. At each event, young glasses wearers and otherwise visually impaired children and their families attend to play games, make crafts, attend storybook readings and enjoy other shared activities.

According to Ellsworth, nearly 1 in 20 preschoolers are visually impaired to the point of needing glasses, but only 1 in 100 wear them. This, she says, is due to a lack of awareness of treatment and of early detection of early childhood vision issues, which, without care, can lead to lower academic achievement and in some cases, blindness.

Supporters of the Great Glasses Play Day include the American Optometric Association, the Children’s Eye Foundation and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, along with independent retailers, who are encouraged to participate.

“Healthy vision is critical for children’s healthy development,” said Barbara Armstrong, executive director of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. “Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is dedicated to helping ensure that all children have healthy vision for school success, and we are proud to be a part of the Great Glasses Play Day.”

For more information, view the Great Glasses Play Day video or visit greatglassesplayday.com.