Free glasses disbursed to Jones County students

     An event at Strawberry Hill Elementary last month in Anamosa celebrated the culmination of Vision to Learn in Jones County, which has provided 148 students with free glasses to help them succeed in school and life.

     “Providing a child with glasses can change their life,” said Corrine Kroger, regional director of Vision to Learn. “They become more confident, participate more in the classroom, and overall can do better in all of their schoolwork.”

     The Community Foundation of Dubuque was the first organization to bring Vision to Learn to Iowa. It has expanded since its inception in Dubuque in January 2016 and its mobile clinic travels to school in Central and Eastern Iowa to provide vision exams and glasses to students. To date, Vision to Learn has served nearly 4,000 students in Iowa.

     The Jones County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, launched the initiative in Jones County during the fall of 2018, and it has provided eye exams to 161 students. The Community Foundations partner with school districts in Anamosa, Midland, Monticello and Olin to expand Vision to Learn’s reach.

     “The impact is huge. Kids need to see clearly every day – it makes a huge difference with their learning,” said Strawberry Hill Principal Val Daily. “It’s been a great boost for Strawberry Hill and an even bigger boost for the district and the entire county. The people behind the scenes who are contributing need to know that they’re making a difference.”

     Over 2,300 students attending Anamosa, Midland, Monticello, and Olin Consolidated school districts received vision screenings from a school nurse or a Vision to Learn optician this year. Of those students, 161 who did not pass the initial screening received an eye exam from Vision to Learn clinicians. Children who were prescribed glasses chose a style and frame from a wide selection offered by Vision to Learn. Glasses are then provided to each child for free, and some students even receive two pairs – one for use at school and one for use at home.

     “To be able to have that second pair of glasses at school is critical,” said Daily.

     When students forget their glasses at home, the school doesn’t have to call on parents to leave work and bring their child’s glasses to the classroom. Instead, students simply make a visit to the school nurse, who keeps each student’s glasses.             



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