“Each year, thousands of children in Philadelphia fail their vision screen at school and never get care,” says Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc, Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics at Wills Eye Institute. “This has great impact on their ability to learn. Each year at Give Kids Sight Day at Wills, we identify children with a wide range of vision threatening eye disease including cataract, untreated legal blindness and eye muscle problems. This day is an opportunity for children to receive the vision care they need. Hundreds of loyal volunteers from Wills and health care institutions across the city will make this a reality.”
With approximately 26,000 Philadelphia children without insurance, and nearly 20,000 Philadelphia School District students failing a vision screening in the most recent academic year, Sight Day is more relevant than ever before. “Last school year, even with the full time services of the Eagles Eye Mobile, approximately 65 percent of the children who failed a school screening did not receive a follow up eye exam – which means these students didn’t get glasses,” said PCCY Health Policy Director, Colleen McCauley. “In addition to providing free eye care on Sight Day, we want to let parents know that if they have Medical Assistance or CHIP for their children these programs cover vision exams and glasses - even replacement glasses if needed.”
The sponsors of Sight Day are pleased to announce a new partnership with Visionworks, a national optical retailer with 17 stores in the Greater Philadelphia region. The company employs locally and due to their proximity and manufacturing facility in nearby Newtown Square, Visionworks will make the glasses for children to receive them within two weeks of Sight Day. All 1,000+ pairs of eye glasses will be produced at the company’s manufacturing facility the weekend after the event.
Interpreters in Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese and several other languages will be available at Sight Day to assist families. All families can get help applying for health insurance at Sight Day. Over 500 caring doctors and citizens have already volunteered to help at the event.
Founded in 1980, Public Citizens for Children and Youth is dedicated to improving the lives and life chances of children in the Delaware Valley. *A copy of PCCY’s updated version of our Children’s Vision Health Resource Guide’ Children’ can be downloaded under the ‘Publications’ link on our website at www.pccy.org.
ABOUT EAGLES YOUTH PARTNERSHIP
Eagles Youth Partnership brings health and educational resources to more than 50,000 children and youth each year throughout the Philadelphia region, inspiring hope and leveraging the star power of the Philadelphia Eagles to positively influence their lives. For 17 years, their Eagles Eye Mobile programs have been providing free eye care and eye glasses for tens of thousands of children who would otherwise lack access. For more information on Eagles Youth Partnership programs visit www.EaglesYouthPartnership.org.
ABOUT WILLS EYE
Visionworks (formerly Eye Care Centers of America, Inc.) is a leading provider of eye care services with more than 590 optical retail stores in 40 states and the District of Columbia through 11 store names that are leaders in eye care service in each of their respective markets. Visionworks is committed to providing our customers with an excellent shopping experience and high quality products and service with the best value and selection in the industry. All stores offer designer and exclusive brand frames, lenses, sunglasses and accessories along with leading technology in vision correction. Their comprehensive service offerings include contact lens dispensing, in-store labs which provide one-hour service on most prescriptions at nearly all locations and doctors of optometry at or next to every store. Visionworks is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVHC, Inc. For more information about Visionworks, visit www.visionworks.com.