The Brightside: Vision To Learn
DOVER, Del. – Since 2014, a non-profit organization called Vision To Learn has been giving kids in Delaware the gift of 20/20 vision.
Tina Danz, the Delaware Program Manager for Vision To Learn said, “Doing this is changing lives.”
Vision To Learn helps kids across the nation get a much needed pair of glasses
Danz said, “So we pick up where parents or guardians are unable to go to the eye doctor to get the glasses they need.”
In Delaware, the non-profit helps about 3,500 kids a year.
Danz said, “It’s the best feeling ever knowing that 3,500 kids a year, we’re changing their life.”
Here’s how it works: Schools identify kids who may have bad eyesight, then Vision To Learn rolls up in its mobile clinic and provides free eye exams to those students. From there, kids will pick out a pair of glasses they like and then, a few weeks later, they will be given those glasses at a distribution event.
Danz said, “It’s incredible to see their faces light up to have that moment where they feel like they’re shining.”
When one Delaware student got his first pair of glasses, he told volunteers with Vision To Learn, it was the best day of his life.
Danz said, “They’re seeing words for the first time, they’re seeing definition and objects for the first time, it’s really just opening up a whole new world for them.”
Dr. Thomas Hufnal, a volunteer said, “Sometimes I wonder how they get as far as they do not being able to see.”
When a child can’t see, it can affect their focus, their behavior, and therefore their grades. That’s why getting them glasses is so important.
Danz said, “We’re shaping them for a better education and better attitudes in the classroom.”
Oftentimes kids don’t have glasses because of problems with insurance, because they don’t realize they need them, or because they’ve lost or broken them in the past.
Dr. Hufnal said, “Children are going to break glasses, there’s just no two ways about it.”
So Vision To Learn makes sure to provide free replacements to all the kids they serve.
Danz said, “The exam is free, the glasses are free, the replacements are free.”
Volunteers try to make the whole experience fun for students and it’s clear that those efforts are paying off.
A student named Zachary said, “It’s been a big pleasure being in here and it’s pretty cool.”
Vision To Learn operates all over the country and they serve kids in grades K-12. So far, they have helped over 270,000 students nation-wide.
If you’re a parent and you want the non-profit to visit your child’s school, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.