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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Sight for Kids Vision Clinic Makes History in St. Bernard

St. Bernard Middle School was the first school in Louisiana to receive services from the Sight for Kids Vision Clinic.

Contributed by St. Bernard Parish Public Schools

Bringing the clinic to the kids was the message when members of the Lions Club International Foundation recently visited St. Bernard Middle School in hopes of helping some of the Eagles there see more clearly. 

St. Bernard Middle School was the first school in Louisiana to receive services from the Sight for Kids Vision Clinic. In the past, the Lions have partnered with medical professionals and community leaders to screen students who are at risk for vision loss or to identify those in need, but this year a mobile vision center was on campus, allowing a number of students to meet with a doctor, get an eye exam, receive a prescription, and be fitted for a brand-new pair of glasses. 

Chris Carlone, Executive Director of the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation, said he is proud to bring this first-of-its-kind, school-based eye health program to St. Bernard Parish. 

“Our goal is to bring vision care to those in need that can’t actually reach that care,” he said. 

Eye professionals performed a visual acuity test and screened for common eye conditions on-site. Students who were pre-identified with potential vision impairment or eye ailments were then fitted for glasses and will receive two pairs in a couple of weeks — one for school and a spare pair for home.

Erik Brejla with the Lions Club International said the outreach is part of an ongoing partnership with its corporate sponsor, Johnson & Johnson Vision. 

“Through this partnership over the last 20 years, we have actually screened over 42 million children across the globe,” he explained. “We could not be happier to be launching this latest project here. It’s for inclusion in society, it’s for their future, and it’s for the immediate benefit of these kids.”

Angela Seibert, the Principal at St. Bernard Middle School, said good vision fosters good learning.

“With new glasses and better eyesight, these Eagles will feel more successful in classes. Their comprehension and retention will absolutely improve,” she said. “We are grateful to the Lions Club and to the district for creating this opportunity for some of our students. They loved picking out frames. Not only can they see better, but they look great too!”

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