Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helps gives local school children the gift of sight, in partnership with Classic Optical and the Essilor Vision Foundation.
CHICAGO—Earlier this year, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Vision Program chose Classic Optical, a Youngstown, Ohio-based wholesale lab, to improve its on-site eyeglass delivery system to correct students’ vision problems. On June 4, Classic Optical, along with partners Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) and Modern Optical International (Modern Optical), reached a milestone by dispensing its 50,000th pair of eyeglasses to CPS students.

“Research clearly substantiates the importance of vision correction in school-age children, and we are extremely proud to be a part of this innovative partnership with the Chicago Public Schools and our strategic partners—the Essilor Vision Foundation and Modern Optical,” said Dawn Friedkin, president of Classic Optical. “This partnership, with its singular focus on the mission of correcting student sight, is also helping to improve the lives of many children in the Chicago community.”

The vision program features eyecare providers that are on-site, either in the CPS clinic or rotating to each of the individual schools. They perform eye examinations and if needed, order new prescription eyeglasses for students.

Classic Optical equipped the providers with an extensive collection of fashion forward frames furnished by Modern Optical, and once the student has selected a frame the order is transmitted electronically to Classic Optical to manufacture the custom eyeglasses. The finished eyewear is available for return to the prescribing provider in about a week for dispensing and fitting to ensure optimal visual acuity and comfort for the student.

CPS has 400,000 students citywide and during the 2014 school year 174,000 received a vision screening, which led to over 40,000 eye examinations and 26,000 eyeglasses were provided. This year, CPS is on pace to provide 45,000 eye exams and dispense 27,800 pairs of eyeglasses to students as a result of the vision program, according to Classic Optical.

“Whether it is seeing the blackboard or the computer screen, most of a child’s learning is visual. It forms the foundation for their success in school and in life,” said Emanuel. “By giving children clearer vision in school, we are giving them a clearer vision of their own future.”