Oxford is pilot site for vision screenings

Gov. DeWine with Oxford students. [photo courtesy the Office of the Governor]

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine visited Oxford Elementary School on May 16 to meet students receiving new prescription eyeglasses through the work of Vision to Learn, a new CH-UH school district partner.

As the pilot site for the partnership, Oxford welcomed the Vision to Learn team in March. Team members screened each Oxford student and returned a few weeks later to complete follow-up exams. In all, 93 students were found to need glasses—nearly a third of all Oxford students. 

On May 16, the DeWines and Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff met with Oxford students and staff and discussed the governor’s new Children’s Vision Strike Force. Vision to Learn also was on hand that day to fit 11 Oxford students for their new glasses. The rest of the students received their glasses on May 23.

“These students are seeing a whole new world than they were just a few moments ago; it’s truly a life-changing experience,” said Gov. DeWine. “By helping our children see their best, we also help them to read their best and learn their best.”

The Children’s Vision Strike Force will aim to provide screenings, exams, and glasses for K–12 students in Ohio, just as Vision to Learn did at Oxford.

“We’re honored that Gov. DeWine and Dr. Vanderhoff came to Oxford today to meet our students and discuss the Vision Strike Force. This initiative is exciting because it aligns perfectly with our values as a school district. As a leader in school-based health care, we believe that our schools must care for the whole child to ensure that they are ready to learn,” said CH-UH district Superintendent Liz Kirby.

The Vision to Learn partnership with Oxford is embedded in the school’s Community Learning Center (CLC) strategy, which launched at the school in 2023 under the leadership of Sabrina Ollie, CLC organizer. CLCs work with community partners and staff to provide enrichment and fulfill basic needs, including health care, at school. 

Next year, the district’s partnership with Vision to Learn will expand to all CH-UH schools, to serve each student, pre-K through grade 12. The services are provided at no cost to the school district or students’ families, thanks to a generous grant from the Ford Motor Fund.

“What’s wonderful about Vision to Learn is that they make everything come full-circle,” said Nancy Peppler, supervisor of community and school partnerships. “Sometimes organizations only have the capacity to do initial screenings and referrals, but due to various barriers, families can’t necessarily take those last steps in getting their child the eye exam and acquiring eyeglasses. Vision to Learn makes that whole process happen.”

Cathan Cavanaugh

Cathan Cavanaugh is the supervisor of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

Read More on Schools
Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 8:39 AM, 06.26.2024