Colorful spectacles waited in trays and bins for throngs of windbreaker-wrapped students who arrived on school buses this month for a two-hour testing odyssey that will lead them to better vision.
Inside the Aldine Independent School District Child Nutrition Center, dozens of professionals were ready with the credentials and technology to assess nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, colorblindness and a host of eye diseases.
This mission, to ensure Houston-area children have access to vision correction to facilitate learning, is a signature program of the Houston Health Department‘s nonprofit arm—Houston Health Foundation.
The process has two parts: An extensive examination where each child rotates through a dozen assessment stations to determine a vision prescription and choose a frame, followed by delivery of the completed glasses a few weeks later.
On Nov. 2, 2018, 300 Aldine ISD students went through the evaluation, then chose from an array of spectacles—tiny to hulking, cat eye to angular, jet black to graduated rainbow colors—that fit their faces, preferences and personalities. Some, like 10-year-old Claire Belony in the video above, receive current prescriptions. In her case, the bubblegum pink glasses she’s now wearing will be replaced by larger black frames she can grow into and see through better. They also look like a previous pair that she hated to lose when they broke.
More than 100 students from Black Elementary were evaluated; when they receive their glasses, TMC News will update this story with the results.
“See to Succeed” was established in 2011 for Houston-area children 6 to 18 who have failed vision screenings but have been unable to access services recommended by their schools. The Houston Health Foundation in collaboration with the Houston Health Department chose to address sight because of its profound impact on academic achievement. According to the foundation, children with corrected vision have improved grades and school attendance with fewer discipline issues.
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