Giving kids the vision to succeed

For these kids, an eye clinic on wheels, built by Vision To Learn, is a sight for sore eyes.  This bus-clinic provides free eye exams and glasses to students in low-income communities. Fifth-grader Dina Ventura hasn’t seen clearly since kindergarten. She is one of 34 students getting tested at her school. Statistics show up to 15 percent of all children in elementary school need glasses.

Educators say 80 percent of learning depends on a child’s ability to see a blackboard or read a book, an impossible burden for 40,000 children here in Los Angeles who have problems with their vision. For Vision to Learn, the solution is clear; after testing the students, they send the children’s prescriptions here. Employees measure… polish… and grind out every set of custom lenses.

Each pair of glasses costs about $100 to make, but for the students, they’re free. “Every child should have the tools they need to be successful. And included in those tools, are glasses,” says the successful investor and founder of Vision to Learn, Austin Beutner. “We’re taking 15 percent of the kids in this school, giving them vision, giving them a chance to learn,” he adds. One by one… frame by frame… the room comes into frame. A world of new possibilities and a clearer future ahead for these children.

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