The following was submitted by Tom Gordon of Dublin, Texas for the Dublin Lions Club. I think you will agree with me that this is an unbelievably worthy project!
The Dublin Lions Club with the help of the Stephenville Lions Club has been taking pictures of kindergarten and first grade Dublin and Lingleville students for the past 5 years. Even though the public schools do eye exams, schools simply place a patch over one eye and then the other and ask the children to read a chart. This type of testing has been in place for the past 60 years.
A new $6,000 dollar digital camera that Dublin and Stephenville use detects possible instances of farsightedness, nearsightedness, amblyopia (lazy eye), astigmatism, unequal refraction and misaligned eyes. Vision problems, if not corrected, can slow learning and lead to irreversible vision loss and even blindness.
With no point of comparison and lacking verbal shills, children are unable to communicate a vision problem which often leads to bad grades and classroom interruptions. The Lions screening requires no verbal input from the children. The test results often shock parents and teachers who are unaware of the child’s vision problem, and jolt them into action.
This testing is done in the first couple of months of the starting of a new year. In the past 5 years of testing in DISD and LISD, the Lions have taken over 700 pictures of students and have found that about 15% of the students tested need to be seen by an eye care professional. In about 80% of those children, a vision problem indeed was present.
So when your kindergartener or first grader, bring home the consent forms, please sign and return them. The cost to you is Zero. If your child brings home a form saying they need to see an eye care professional, please make sure your child is seen. It can make a real difference in your children’s life. If help is needed with cost, the school nurse will be able to help you get the help your child needs. So don’t ever say I can’t afford the cost, don’t let your child’s eye site suffer because you don’t ask for help. -Tom Gordon