Vision To Learn
In 2016, the Community Foundation partnered with nonprofit Vision To Learn to pilot a mobile vision clinic aimed at improving kids’ vision to help them succeed in school. The pilot program included eight Title I schools — five in Dubuque and three in Jackson County. Students were identified as needing an exam from their fall school vision screenings, and nearly 180 students were examined on the mobile clinic. Of those examined, 91 received prescriptions for glasses and 18 were referred on for further vision care. Each student who received a prescription was given two free pairs of glasses — one to keep at school and one to keep at home. The pilot project was made possible by donations from Vision To Learn, Theisen’s Home*Farm*Auto, CFGD and the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
CFGD brought Vision To Learn to Iowa through its Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which works to help more children read at grade level by the end of third grade. Research by the University of California Los Angeles Mattel Children’s Hospital shows that Vision To Learn has a direct impact on education outcomes for children supported by the program and improves the learning environment for the entire classroom and school.
During the 2016-2017 school year, Vision To Learn expanded to serve 40 schools in seven different counties. Starting in September, the mobile clinic traveled to area schools in Allamakee, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties. It continued its journey throughout Eastern Iowa during the school year, and during the summer months made stops at summer programs and local organizations serving children. Students are identified for an exam on the mobile clinic by their school screenings, and those requiring a prescription are given two free pairs of glasses.
The program is made possible through partnerships with Vision To Learn, Theisen’s Home*Farm*Auto, Klauer Optical Co., and CFGD.