Helping kids read: it takes a vision

Nikonie Brown Community 0 Comments

There is no more critical education milestone than learning how to read. It’s a difficult skill that requires focused effort and the support of parents and teachers. Now, imagine a student struggling to see the book in front of them or the white board at the front of the room. How much more difficult would that be? Did you know that in some cases something as simple as an eye exam and a pair of glasses can help students succeed?

25% of students have vision problems that can affect their ability to achieve in school. The issue is compounded for low-income children, who face a lack of access to optometric care. Over 55,000 students in the counties of metro Atlanta likely need glasses. If the children cannot get to the optometrist, why not bring the optometrist (and the glasses) to the children?

That is why Learn4Life, the metro Atlanta regional education partnership, is working with a cross-functional group of leaders on a solution to this challenge. Learn4Life has identified a bright spot – Vision To Learn – a national nonprofit that provides eye exams and glasses to students. Vision To Learn piloted its Atlanta work at a kick-off on July 21 at Welcome All Park in South Fulton. 75 kids received glasses – they even got to pick out their frames! View a WSB-TV story on the kick-off here.

In the first year, the project plans to provide 2,000 exams and 1,600 pairs of glasses. That’s 1,600 children that will be able to see better, learn better, and eventually, read better.

Learn4Life is a collaborative effort that brings together school systems, local communities, businesses and nonprofits. Using data, the partnership identifies best practices at key milestones in a student’s education, then scales solutions – some as simple and vital as a pair of glasses. The Community Foundation is proud to be a founding partner of Learn4Life with the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and United Way of Greater Atlanta. Learn more here.