Student sight, ability to learn focus of Vision to Learn program

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Indian River School District Superintendent Dr. Susan Bunting, left, looks on as a North Georgetown Elementary student tries on a pair of eye-glasses during the Vision To Learn event.

GEORGETOWN – Student eyesight and the ability to learn were in clear focus Thursday at North Georgetown Elementary School.

Vision To Learn launched their expansion into Sussex County with distribution of free glasses to students at North Georgetown Elementary.

The nonprofit organization Vision To Learn delivers free eye exams and glasses to kids in low-income communities, as part of a pilot project in the state of Delaware.

The program was launched in October 2014 at Shortlidge Academy and in less than one year has expanded statewide, partnering with 12 school districts and many charter and private schools in all three counties.

To date, Vision To Learn has helped over 1,400 kids in Delaware.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, who was instrumental in bringing Vision To Learn to Delaware, said, “Vision To Learn is a proven, effective way to help school children learn and a great investment in Delaware’s future.”

As many as 6,000 students in Delaware lack the glasses they need to see the board, read a book and participate in school.

Vision To Learn bridges that gap in access felt by many students, and their families, in low-income communities. Its optometrists work out of a mobile clinic bus that travels to school sites every day. Students are examined on the bus and, if glasses are prescribed, they choose their frames from a wide selection of colors and sizes. The glasses are then delivered to the kids at school.

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North Georgetown Elementary students received free glasses through Vision To Learn at an event last week.

All of Vision To Learn’s services – from the exam to the glasses – are provided free of charge.

The event at North Georgetown Elementary School culminated with 30 students receiving glasses, upping the total to 50 children in North Georgetown Elementary School who have received glasses through Vision To Learn.

The event emcee was Indian River School District Superintendent Dr. Susan Bunting.

Guest speakers were. Dr. Linda Wolfe, Delaware Department of Education’s, Director of School Services, Lara Booth, RN, Lead Nurse for IRSD, and special guest speaker, Brian Hernandez Roblero, a fifth grader at North Georgetown Elementary School who thanked the district, nurses, teachers and Vision To Learn for his glasses and said how much his glasses will help him in his hopes to someday be a state trooper.

Austin Beutner, Vision To Learn founder and chairman, said “Vision To Learn helps provide every child with the chance to succeed in school and in life.”

Vision To Learn’s mobile clinic began visiting schools in Sussex County in the spring of last year and has already provided over 150 eye exams and over 120 pairs of free glasses in the Indian River School District so far this year.

“Every child in Delaware and every child in America should be able to see the blackboard. Vision To Learn’s efforts help kids succeed in school.  Austin Beutner understands this and I want to thank him for making Delaware his first state after California,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Together, we will develop a road-map that can help other states ensure that all children living in poverty can see a clear and bright future.”

“Vision To Learn makes a real difference in the lives of Delaware students by ensuring that every child is able to take advantage of a good education. Sometimes it’s the simple things, like a pair of glasses, that can have a big impact on a student’s ability to learn,” said Congressman John Carney.  “This program helps kids who need it most, and I’m grateful for their continued commitment to Delaware’s children.”


The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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