DALLAS, TEXAS—As the new school year approaches, Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) is raising awareness among school nurses, teachers and parents of the need for children to have clear vision through its Champions for Sight and Kids Vision for Life programs. Being able to see clearly is especially critical for school-age children, since 80 percent of what a child learns in their first 12 years is visual. Students with undiagnosed vision impairments are three times more likely to fail a grade than children with 20/20 vision. One in four schoolchildren has a vision impairment significant enough to affect their ability to learn, according to the American Optometric Association.

Teachers and school nurses are often the first adults to suspect a child may have a vision problem. Champions for Sight provides free vision-related educational materials to schools for use in the classroom and at home. In a recent survey, school nurses and educators said Champions for Sight is informative and they recognize the positive impact the program has on the students, EVF said. 
It is estimated that of 80 percent of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured, often with a pair of glasses. EVF provides direct no-cost vision services to students at school through the Kids Vision for Life program. Mobile clinics visit local schools and provide on-site vision exams and, in many cases, finished prescription glasses the same day at no cost to the family.
“I have seen countless students receive eye exams and glasses who otherwise were unable to get them,” said Julia Mattox, a nurse with the Fort Worth Independent School District. “I was able to see first-hand the excitement on their faces as they were able to finally see, the improvement in class work performance, and in their overall emotional and physical well-being. The experience left both the students and parents so much better than had they not had this opportunity.”
Visit the EVF website to learn more about how the foundation supports schools and families to help children be ready for the new school year.