WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The Wilkes-Barre Area School District is teaming up with the United Way of Wyoming Valley with a new program for students.
The program is called, “See to Succeed”, and it kicked off Thursday at Heights-Murray Elementary School. It is designed to remove barriers that could keep students from receiving proper eye care.
“Last year, of the 7,300 kids that are in Wilkes-Barre Area School District, about 662 kids were found to have a vision correction need. What we learned is that only 16 percent of those kids actually got the glasses that they needed. So, 84 percent of kids (550 kids) did not get those glasses,” says Bill Jones, President/CEO United Way of Wyoming Valley.
The device, which is a vision spot screener, replaces the old way of doing a vision test with new and improved technology that can get you results within seconds.
Julian Velez, a kindergartner, says, “I looked at that little circle/camera-thingy and got my eyes checked.”
“We can change directions in [the letters on an eye chart] and ask them what direction is the “E”, but then, instead of that which takes minutes, I can grab the spot vision and say ‘look at the lights’ and it’s done within probably less than a second at most, once it starts to evaluate the measurement,” says school nurse Tracey Glynn-Roulinavage.
The eye screening will determine whether a student has astigmatism, a lazy eye, or if they are near-sighted or far-sighted. It then advises whether an eye doctor should be seen for further examinations. School principal, Melissa Myers, says she is honored to have this technology at her school.
“A child may have difficulty seeing the board, maybe squinting, and then, in turn, starts to fidget around in their seat and get distracted. They can’t focus because ultimately they are not able to see,” says Myers.
Jones told Eyewitness News that while improper vision amongst students is a serious problem in schools, it is a solvable problem they hope to fix.