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Lions take a close look at vision of North Okanagan kids

Service club has screened hundreds of elementary students, some found with very poor eye sight
The Vernon Lions are vision screening at elementary schools throughout Vernon. (Contributed)

Local Lions are looking at ensuring kids can see a bright future.

Volunteers have been vision testing students in Kingergarten and Grades 3 and 6 in all Vernon School District facilities.

“We have to this point screened more than 1,171 kids and 88 of them were sent home a notice recommending they be taken to an optomestrist,” said Vernon Lion Jackie Tardell. “A couple that I saw had very poor eyesight.”

The North Okanagan Lions Clubs zone project, Your Vision is Our Vision, is underway with the school district’s teacher of students with visual impairments.

Lumby, Enderby and Armstrong Lions clubs are also screening elementary children in those areas.

The clubs also assist families who need help paying for children’s glasses.

Since Lions Clubs International was founded in 1917, sight is one of the defining causes and Lions have since gained worldwide recognition for their work to improve sight and prevent blindness.

It has been established that one in every 15 children has a vision problem and the numbers appear to be increasing with increased screen time on computers and electronic devices.

Using a Welsh Allyn SPOT Vision Screener, the portable device detects six different discrepancies a child may have.

All information is confidential. Only those children requiring a referral to see an optometrist have a printout given to the principal of the school to be sent home to the parents. At the end of each screening day, all information is erased from the screener and no personal records are kept by the Lions Club or by the school district. Only the number of children screened and the percentage of referrals is recorded by the Lions Clubs.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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