Researchers have discovered that poor school performance among low-income students can often be traced to poor eyesight. Because of this, a new program called Vision To Learn was formed to help improve performance among poor students by giving them free eye glasses, and it improved reading efficiency significantly.
How the concept got started
Founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, Vision To Learn provides children with free eye exams and free glasses by bringing its mobile eye clinics to schools and to other neighborhood youth and community organizations.
Kids’ vision issues often go undetected, with as many as one in five children lacking the ability to see clearly. Students with impaired vision can struggle to read a book, study math, see the board, or even participate in class—all of which can result in poor grades and adversely affect academic achievement. Vision To Learn alters these outcomes by coordinating screenings for children, and supplying those in need with eye exams and glasses—an age-old yet critical tool for success.
The research doesn't lie
UCLA research shows Vision To Learn succeeds in having a positive and direct impact on education: grades have improved for kids helped by Vision To Learn; and with large groups of children being helped at once, not only does receiving new glasses become a shared experience, but teachers have noted an improved learning environment in entire classrooms as a result.
NBC Nightly News recently did a feature on the organization called “Making a Difference”, which gives greater insight into the services they provide and the children they serve.
Thousands of children being helped
Vision To Learn is proud of all it has accomplished in just three short years, and plans to serve as a model for the rest of the nation. Their mobile services offer a practical solution to the more than 1.5 million children nationwide who lack the resources or means to gain access to prescription eyeglasses; and they look forward to helping children for many years to come. So far the program has given eyeglasses and/or eye exams to more than 90,000 children!