Elkhart Education Foundation &
Boling Vision Center
Launch Kindness to Prevent Blindness Program
EEF and Boling Vision Center Bring Mobile Eye Exams to
Elkhart Students – First of Its Kind of Partnership
Elkhart, September 20, 2018: Seeing isn’t just believing, it’s also learning. Good eyesight is closely tied to success in education, yet an estimated one in four children has an undetected vision problem. The Elkhart Education Foundation and Boling Vision Center are addressing the issue with the game-changing Kindness to Prevent Blindness (K2PB) initiative rolling out this school year.
The nonprofit initiative will bring free medical eye exams to Elkhart Community Schools, screening 4,000 students in the first, third, fifth and eighth grades annually. With help from the Lion’s Club and school nurses, students will be screened and referred to Kindness to Prevent Blindness. The mobile unit will visit school buildings and examine the referred students, providing two pairs of eyeglasses to children who need vision correction- one to keep as a back-up with the school nurse and one to travel back and forth with the student from home to school.
The Indiana Department of Education requires the vision screenings, but historically there has been, in some cases, insurmountable obstacles for families to follow-up for eyewear or treatment often characterized as the “referral gap”. The Kindness to Prevent Blindness mobile unit is designed to close that gap, providing an official exam and glasses on site at the student’s school.
“Elkhart Education Foundation believes that children have to see their best to be their best in the classroom. We are breaking down barriers to academic success one challenge at a time. We cannot wait to eradicate the referral gap and make sure every student gets the glasses and treatment they need!” Elkhart Education Foundation Executive Director Ashley Boling Molyneaux.
The initiative meets a critical need with an average of one in four children experiencing vision problems; and an estimated 60% of children with learning disabilities having an undetected vision problem. Students that live in poverty don’t get the glasses they need nearly 80% of the time according to national studies. Lack of good vision impacts students’ success in reading, concentration, athletic participation and social interaction.
The custom mobile unit is being constructed in Elkhart by Forest River in collaboration with Lippert Components, Inc. and is staffed by ophthalmologists and optometrists from Boling Vision Center and volunteers from the Lions Club of Elkhart. The Essilor Foundation is providing free lenses and frames to student through Kindness to Prevent Blindness.
“We are proud to partner with the Elkhart Education Foundation on this important initiative and volunteer our time and talents to ensure school children have the vision care they need to succeed,” said Dr. Richard Boling II of Boling Vision Center. “This has been a multi-generational dream come true for the Boling family.”
The initiative will kick off with a dedication ceremony on Thursday Sept. 27th at 7:30 a.m. at Boling Vision Center, 2746 Old U.S. 20 W., Elkhart IN. Refreshments will be provided by the ICE Café.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Kindness to Prevent Blindness program with a custom RV designed to bring kids the vision care they need, where they need it most – at school,” said Bradley Short of Forest River.
The nonprofit Elkhart Education Foundation works to bridge the gap in funding for Elkhart Community Schools. The nonprofit receives funds by private donors, grants and fundraising. There is an ongoing need to fund this new innovative program from volunteers to gas cards. The nonprofit will also host a fundraiser dedicated to this new program, November 6th called Eye-Italian, a festive cooking event with New York Times best-selling author Adriana Trigiani. For more information on the Elkhart Education Foundation, the program, or to get involved, please visit www.OneCityOneMission.org or call 574-651-9051.
About the Elkhart Education Foundation
Founded in 2014, the Elkhart Education Foundation (EEF) is inspiring innovation in Elkhart Community Schools. EEF provides grants for innovative teaching projects, extracurricular activities and character building special programs to the teachers and students of Elkhart Community Schools. The nonprofit has impacted more than 10,000 students. The Elkhart Education Foundation ignites the power of community, connects generous hearts with education, and provides the resources needed for EVERY child to excel inside and outside of the classroom through extraordinary learning experiences. For more information, please visit www.OneCityOneMission.org. #OneCityOneMission
KINDNESS TO PREVENT BLINDNESS AT A GLANCE
The Issue & Impact
- One in four children has a vision problem
- 60% of children with learning difficulties have an undetected vision problem
- 70% of juvenile delinquents have an undetected eye problem
- 80% of information in the classroom is presented visually
- When vision problems are found, an estimated 40%-67% do not receive recommended follow-up care, especially in students living below the poverty line.
- Kindness to Prevent Blindness is a collaboration between nonprofit, Elkhart Education Foundation, and long-time eye care practice, Boling Vision Center, to ensure school children have the vision care they need to be successful in school
- 4,000+ students in four grade levels will be screened annually at Elkhart Community Schools
- In addition to free school screenings, students will receive 2 pairs of glasses.
- Nonprofit initiative funded by tax-deductible donations and in-kind community support
- Partnership with Boling Vision Center, providing doctors who donate their time for school visits
Dedication Ceremony / Mobile Unit Tour
- Thursday September 27, 2018, 7:30 a.m.
- Boling Vision Center, 2746 Old U.S. 20 W., Elkhart IN
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