- Westpark Elementary School
Fort Worth ISD students wrote what’s great about wearing glasses on medium-sized sheets of poster paper this week.
The ability to see clearer, farther, read, write, watch TV or movies, play more games and find small objects were just a few of the benefits of eyeglasses students wrote on their poster boards.
The exercise was one of the activities at the eighth annual Kids Vision Fest, hosted by Essilor Vision Foundation and Alcon, Monday, February 3 at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus. The event offered approximately 400 Fort Worth ISD students free vision exams and eyeglasses. View more photos from the event here.
“This is a powerful program,” said FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner
Dr. Scribner and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price joined representatives from the Essilor Vision Foundation, Alcon and TCC-Trinity River in a brief program with a select group of fourth and fifth grade students reinforcing the connection between vision care and literacy.
“When you consider the fact that 80%of learning is through sight, I think everyone would agree that good vision is essential to success of a child in their school years,” said Dr. Rick Weisbarth, vice president of U.S. Vision Care at Alcon.
Vision impacts “a child’s physical development success in school and overall well-being” and how the brain processes what it sees or hears, according to recent articles published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Essilor Vision Foundation reports that 1-in-4 children in the United States have a vision issue that affects their ability to learn.
“Kids who don’t have glasses can’t see in school, can’t do their work … and oftentimes when they get glasses, they began to turn their life around,” Mayor Price said.
Essilor Vision Foundation’s Kids Vision Fest aligns with the District’s 100X25 FWTX initiative, a partnership Dr. Scribner and Mayor Price assisted in launching years ago that sets a goal of 100% of third graders reading on or above grade level by 2025. Vision is critical in a child’s ability to read and learn. For more details about the 100X25 FWTX initiative, visit ReadFortWorth.org.
Prior to this year’s Kid Vision Fest, FWISD elementary school nurses gave vision pre-screenings to students in grades K-5. More than 600 children from 32 FWISD elementary schools requiring further evaluation were invited to attend Kids Vision Fest, a mobile vision clinic. About 400 students were eligible for free vision exams and eyeglasses, according to the District’s Health Services Department. If it was determined that a child needed glasses, the student chose their eyeglass frames and lens onsite, and prescription glasses will be delivered to the student’s school within the next several weeks.
Dallas-based Essilor Vision Foundation launched its program Kids Vision for Life in 2008 to increase access to vision screenings and new glasses for children. Within the last decade, Tarrant County youth have received free on-site eye exams at nearly 100 schools and thousands of pairs of free prescription glasses.