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Program Has Vision For North Texas Students

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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WHITE SETTLEMENT (CBSDFW.COM) - A cool-looking bus parked at North Elementary School in White Settlement brightened up several children’s lives on Tuesday by helping them see clearly. It’s the Vision For Life bus, a one-stop eye clinic for kids.

With the help of several groups and volunteers, dozens of elementary school students in the White Settlement area will get free glasses this week.

North Elementary School principal Coby Kirkpatrick said that there are several things his students can gain from improved vision. “There’s confidence,” he said. “There’s the ability to actually see what’s being taught, to read the letters and put them all together, and they’re not blurry.”

Those with the program, like Essilor Foundation optometrist Thea Jordan, said that it doesn’t matter whether a child’s parent could afford to do this. It is about helping to solve a common problem. “Most times, the children don’t realize,” she said, “and if they’re not telling someone that they can’t see, they can’t get help.”

Someone who went in for her first eye exam was North Elementary School third grade student Ariana Goodman. She said that she was both nervous and excited about getting a pair of specs. “Well, usually, my desk is kind of at the back of the room,” she said. “When I look at the board, it’s kind of hard to see it.”

Goodman sat down to a machine that measured her eyes, then saw the optometrist. And after a few more tests and measurements, she was almost done. She then carefully looked over several colorful frames before settling on a pair.

Back inside the bus, a lab tech made her prescribed lenses in less than 10 minutes.

Then, Goodman’s big moment. Once they were on, she looked around, and said, “Cool!”

It’s a minor improvement that Goodman knows will have a major impact on her education. “So I could see the board better, and so I could get stuff written down faster and I won’t be behind on something,” she said.

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