Vision To Learn Expands to Serve 44 Schools

More kids in Northeast Iowa will be seeing clearly after the Vision To Learn mobile clinic travels to 44 schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Early this year, Vision To Learn and the Community Foundation partnered to pilot the vision program in eight Title I elementary schools in Dubuque and Jackson Counties. As a result, nearly 180 students received free eye exams and 90 students each received two free pairs of glasses.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue this partnership with Vision To Learn and expand this program to all our affiliate counties. We are lucky to have local partners like Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto and Klauer Optical Co. who are so passionate about helping young people in our community,” said Nancy Van Milligen, CFGD president and CEO. “Through our work with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, we know that there are still kids in our region who are not reading at grade level. Proper vision care is just one of the tools that can help them be successful in school.”

In January, the mobile clinic began traveling to schools in Allamakee, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones Counties where it has the potential to serve more than 725 kids in need of vision care. The clinic will continue its journey throughout Eastern Iowa during the school year. Students will be identified for an exam on the mobile clinic based on school screenings, and kids who require prescriptions will each receive two free pairs of glasses—one to keep at school and one to take home. 

The program is made possible through donations from Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto, Klauer Optical Co., Vision To Learn and CFGD.

“Being a part of Vision To Learn provides kids the opportunity to see and therefore succeed. Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto is proud to help sponsor this expanding program,” said Jim Theisen, president of Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto.

The partnership with Klauer Optical Co. will allow the glasses given to students to be sourced locally. Students will receive their new glasses faster and repairs can be done more quickly, reducing the time that children must be without their much-needed glasses.   

CFGD is piloting the Vision To Learn program in Iowa as part of 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.

For more information or to support Vision To Learn, visit www.dbqfoundation.org/visiontolearn.



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Photo caption: Vision To Learn Optician Uzi Granados fits a Fulton Elementary student with new glasses during the 2016 Vision To Learn pilot program, which brought a mobile eye clinic to eight Title I elementary schools in Dubuque and Jackson Counties.

This story was last edited on February 16, 2017. Original story published August 16, 2016.

This story originally appeared in the 2016 Summer Giving Matters (pdf).

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