NOA and the Nebraska Foundation for Children’s Vision partnered to provide a free vision clinic on March 2 for students at Schuyler Elementary School. The charity event was patterned after a similar clinic conducted for Beatrice Public Schools last year. This outreach will aid the NOA in gathering data on how comprehensive eye exams and vision correction can impact academic performance.
The clinic provided free comprehensive exams and glasses for 32 students, all of whom had been flagged through vision screenings done by their school nurse and through input from teachers. All students received eyewear thanks to the Essilor Vision Foundation. Some students had significant refractive error. One potentially has undiagnosed keratoconus. This was the first eye exam for at least 10, and perhaps as many as 18.
NOA volunteers included Drs. Kristin Reed, Dan Mickey, Ryan Stevens, Jackson Kube and Paras from Unity Eye Centers. Additional assistance came from volunteers associated with Schuyler Public Schools and the community, Nebraska Department of Education, and a prospective optometry student from UN-Omaha.
The school will be doing academic testing on these students later this spring and will provide data comparing their results to prior to testing. That data will help NOA as it continues to advocate for comprehensive vision care for students.
The NOA/NFCV collaboration with Schuyler Elementary resulted from a partnership with the Nebraska Department of Education, which is working with Schuyler toward developing a community-based health clinic that could include optometry, dentistry, and audiology services provided to students in the school. Additional clinic opportunities are being discussed.