arlington eye exams Program Gives Free Eyeglasses To Local Students

(credit: KRLD NewsRadio1080/Chuck Schechner)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of Arlington school kids will be getting free eyeglasses.

A program called Kids Vision for Life began Thursday at Beth Anderson Elementary.

The program, funded by Fort Worth-based Alcon and lens maker Essilor, provides eye exams and on-site production of eyeglasses.

Anderson Principal Kyle Bunker said everything is done for free. “They’re going to be going out to the van, picking up a pair of glasses, putting them on, and going back to class, even as early as nine o’clock this morning, with a pair of glasses that they’ve never had.”

According to a representative from Alcon, one in four American children have an uncorrected vision problem.

Arlington Superintendent Jerry McCullough said better vision means better students, so both the child and the school district benefit.

“Anytime that a student – his vision is improved or her vision is improved – it would have a tremendous impact on their [test] scores and their grades,” McCullough said.

McCullough said standard vision screening has no follow-up and often eyeglass prescriptions for children aren’t filled. But the Kids Vision for Life program allowed the students to pick out their own frames and have their glasses right away.

Through the Kids Vision initiative, over the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 700 Arlington elementary students will receive eye exams and more than 600 will get new glasses.

The Kids Vision For Life program is already in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Everman ISDs and will be expanding to other Texas school districts this year.