Visualize a classroom of 30 students. According to our statistics, at least 8 of those students need vision correction, and of those only 2 already wear glasses or have already been identified as needing them. Those other 6 children have undiagnosed vision needs and are going throughout their day not able to see clearly. Some have never seen well their entire lives.
“José Jonuel complained of headaches, that he couldn’t see far away, and his eyes itched. He was always a little behind at school, and since he almost never spoke, I didn’t know what it was. I thought he was just shy, but it was that he didn’t see well.” Johanny Matos Berroa described what life was like for her son, a 5th-grader at Escuela Salomé Ureña in the Dominican Republic, before he received his first pair of eyeglasses from Aprender y Crecer Visión.
“Now with his eyeglasses he sees well, he doesn’t get headaches anymore, he uses them for everything. I don’t know for how long he has needed eyeglasses. I have seen changes in his recognizing letters, he has learned to read better, and he continues to advance.”
Aprender y Crecer Visión is giving the gift of clearer vision to students at participating schools throughout the region. In partnership with PriceSmart, Visión is providing vision screenings to all students at participating Aprender y Crecer schools, followed by eye exams for students identified as needing vision correction. Those students choose their own frames, and their prescription eyeglasses are delivered to them a few weeks later. All of these services are provided free of charge to families.
Very few families with children at Aprender y Crecer schools have access to preventive eye care and eyeglasses. For most, the Visión program offers their only opportunity to provide eyeglasses for their children.
“Providing eyeglasses to children who cannot otherwise obtain them is not just about improving vision, it's about changing lives, one pair of eyeglasses at a time,” commented Carlos Izquierdo, Director of Optical and Audiology for PriceSmart.
Wearing eyeglasses means much more than just seeing clearly. According to a recent Johns Hopkins study, students with vision needs that were given eyeglasses obtained academic gains equivalent to two to four months of additional education compared to students with vision needs that did not receive eyeglasses. And testimonials from the students themselves after they start wearing their eyeglasses are equally remarkable.
“Now I see everything!”
“Before wearing glasses I couldn’t see anything my teacher wrote on the board."
“Now I don’t have headaches and don’t have to force my eyes.”
Since its launch in 2022, Aprender y Crecer Visión has provided vision screenings to more than 43,000 students, and delivered more than 8,000 pairs of eyeglasses.