New glasses for elementary kids in New Castle means a better chance at learning. And today, fifteen children at Wilmington Manor Elementary School are on their way to a more successful school experience after getting brand new, free prescription glasses.
The glasses giveaway was administered by Vision to Learn, a nonprofit that examines, prescribes and delivers glasses to students in Delaware whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent them from accessing necessary vision care.
The Vision to Learn van showed up at Wilmington Manor Elementary earlier last year and administered vision screenings to all of the children. Those who failed the screening were referred to their mobile clinic, where they were given a free eye exam.
“It just feels great to have new glasses,” said 4th grader Terrell Bolton, who tried on his brand new glasses today. Bolton is near-sighted and says he struggles seeing things further away. “It helps me learn and do certain things in the classroom that I can’t do without glasses.”
The Colonial School District was one of the first to take part in Delaware’s Vision to Learn program, which launched four years ago. The organization served over 4,000 kids across the state last year, and they hope to serve 10,000 kids in Delaware this year.
“The impact this will have on learning for these students is exponential,” said Pete Silberman, with Vision to Learn.
According to Vision to Learn, more than two thirds of all low-income public school children have never received proper optemetric care. And another 20 percent have out of date prescriptions. This is where Vision to Learn steps up to fill a critical gap in health care.
Colonial School District Assistant Superintendent Jeff Menzer said new glasses for young children can have a big impact on their future. “It’s really hard to learn if you can’t see well. We are so fortunate to be a part of this program. You don’t know how special these events are until you get here and see the faces of the students as they receive their glasses.”
Proudly wearing his Eagles jersey even after his team is out of Superbowl contention, Bolton testified at how important these new glasses will be for his self-esteem and education. “Having your own glasses, being able to read, being able to concentrate on certain things you can’t see – it feels great.”