Lions focused on helping pupils have good vision

SCREENING TIME — Richmond Lions Club member Sahn Huscroft performs a vision screening on a fifth-grade pupil at John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz recently as part of the sight-saving organization’s annual project. The club provides free screenings in Jefferson County schools and had stops at Edison High School and the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School also on its agenda. The club hopes to extend its reach to other age demographics in the community. -- Contributed

BERGHOLZ — Members of the Richmond Lions Club paid visits to several Edison Local Schools recently to help elementary pupils focus on good vision.

For the third consecutive year, the organization stopped at Stanton Elementary on Sept. 19 and was on hand later at John Gregg Elementary in Bergholz as part of the club’s vision program, with plans to see students at Edison High School as well.

Club member Ken Miser said the group reviewed an estimated 875 children in grades prekindergarten through sixth, using the Welch Allyn SpotVision Screener. The hand-held device enables efficient vision screening in a matter of seconds and can assess whether a person has nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, gaze development (eye alignment measurement), anisometropia (unequal refractive power) or anisocoria (unequal pupil size).

Screenings take 1.5 seconds to complete, and results are printed immediately. Meanwhile, individuals with detected problems are advised to follow up with an optometrist, and those without insurance also can receive financial assistance from the organization for doctors’ visits and glasses.

Miser said the equipment is an important asset not only to his organization, but to the community as a whole.

“The Lions Club is a sight-saving organization, and this affects a lot more people. We have been happy with the results, and we hope to do more.”

For now, the Lions travel throughout schools in Jefferson County and were to be at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School as well, but officials also are eyeing other age demographics.

“We’ll do it for all of the schools in the county, but we hope to go into the community and offer free screenings at Prime Time and other organizations as well as the Jefferson County Fair,” he explained.

Edison Local Schools Superintendent Bill Beattie said the program has been vital to the district and the students it serves.

“We truly appreciate what the Lions Club has done for us in regards to the vision screening. They not only assist our nurses in what we have to report to the state, but this also gives parents valuable information if there are vision issues,” Beattie said.