Vision to Learn is a nonprofit organization that helps low income students get free eye exams and glasses. Over the last 10 years, this organization has provided more than 2.5 million children with eye care!
In this article, we will review what Vision to Learn is, who is eligible for assistance, and how you can get help from your local partnered organization.
What is Vision to Learn?
Vision to Learn is an organization that helps schoolchildren get vision care and free glasses so that they can perform well in school. This is a mission that really resonates with me, as I was once a student that struggled to read the chalkboard from the back of the classroom.
For millions of students, poor vision is a problem they can’t afford to fix. That’s where Vision to Learn steps in. They help children who can’t afford vision care get free eye exams and free glasses so they can see well and learn better.
How Vision to Learn Works
Vision to Learn works with school districts to reach students who need help. Before a student can receive assistance, the school district must partner with this organization.
Part of that partnership involves offering free vision screenings to every student in the school. The screenings are very basic and are only intended to identify people who may be having vision problems.
After the vision screenings take place, Vision to Learn brings a mobile clinic to the school so that a licensed optometrist can evaluate the students who failed the initial vision screening. These eye exams are provided for free to the students who need them.
If the student is prescribed glasses, they can choose their frames in the mobile clinic. The service provides a variety of styles and colors in different sizes. The glasses will be ready in about two weeks, and then the van will return to help fit the students with their new glasses.
Vision to Learn will replace any glasses that are lost or stolen within the first year.
Who is Eligible?
In order to be eligible for help from Vision to Learn, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be an elementary school student.
- You must attend a participating elementary school OR participate in a partnered Boys & Girls Club.
- You must fail a vision screening at their school or organization.
- You may be required to demonstrate financial need.
It appears that all students who attend participating schools can get help from Vision to Learn. However, it is possible that there are other eligibility criteria that are not expressly stated on the website. For example, you may be required to demonstrate financial need, provide proof of income, or meet other requirements.
How to Get Help from Vision to Learn
In order to get help from Vision to Learn, you need to attend a participating school. If your school is already registered to participate, then you simply need to make sure that your child attends school on the vision screening day.
If your school does not currently participate, you will need to talk to your school district leaders and ask them to reach out to the organization for details. Partnering school districts must sign a Memorandum of Understanding to get started.
Is there a Vision to Learn Near You?
There are currently over 750 community schools participating in this service. The current list of participating locations is as follows:
There are Vision to Learn partners in the following California cities:
- Inglewood (K-12)
- Long Beach Unified School District
- Los Angeles County
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Clara County
Vision to Learn serves communities throughout the state. They have partners with many school districts and community organizations! In addition to public schools in Ansonia, East Hartford, Manchester, Waterbury and more. They also partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the states and even the Hartford Public Library!
Delaware was the first state outside of California to receive help from Vision to Learn! In Delaware, this organization is also a credentialed Medicaid vision provider.
Vision to Learn serves children in the following areas of Georgia:
- Clayton County
- Gwinnett County
They have partnered with school districts and even local libraries in the area.
Vision to Learn has a presence in the following areas of Hawaii:
- Big Island
Vision to Learn serves the following areas in Iowa:
- Des Moines
- Fort Dodge
- West Liberty
This organization hosted a pilot program in Louisiana, which provided glasses to students at Foundation Preparatory Charter School. It is not clear if that program has continued.
This organization hosted a pilot program in the Baltimore area. The program launched in May 2016 and was intended to last three years. It is not clear if that program was continued.
This organization serves the following areas of Michigan:
- Grand Rapids
- Southeastern Michigan
Jackson Public School students who are attending grades K-12 may be able to get free eye exams and glasses from Vision to Learn. This organization does not appear to serve other school districts in the state at this time.
They began serving New Jersey back in 2017. This program serves students in the following areas:
- East Orange
- Jersey City
In North Carolina, Vision to Learn works with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
There are partners in Southeastern Ohio. The website states that they visit 32 counties throughout Appalachian Ohio.
Vision to Learn serves students in Pennsylvania too! This organization works with dozens of school districts around the state. They also partner with a number of community organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs, Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, the Eagles Eye Mobile in Philadelphia and more.
This organization works with the Charleston County School District. They have also partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Children’s Health and MUSC Storm Eye Institute to reach more children.
This organization serves schools in Richmond and Conexus.
Vision to Learn has a mobile clinic that helps students who attend DC Public Schools.
Vision to Learn is a nonprofit organization that helps schoolchildren get free vision exams and eyeglasses in 15 states. They focus on helping elementary school children get the vision care they need to perform well in school. Contact your school or local Boys & Girls Club for details!