Since establishing the “Looking Out for Kids” charity, The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University has provided vision care services and eyeglasses to thousands of children from the School District of Philadelphia, and in more recent years, our reach has expanded to include the Norristown, Abington, Cheltenham, Chester, Souderton, William Penn School Districts and Delaware County Charter, and also hearing services.
For many years, we have had a strategic alliance with the School District of Philadelphia to provide vision care services to their students. Working closely with school nurses, TEI deploys vision care teams to schools to provide free vision screenings. For children who fail the vision screening, we work with schools nurses to schedule students at one of TEI’s locations for comprehensive vision care and eyeglasses. Each year, several hundred children are transported to TEI for the care they need.
Working collaboratively with The School District of Philadelphia nurses, we provided the following services to children in Philadelphia public schools during the 2019-2020 academic year:
- Vision screenings to 3,735 children
- Comprehensive vision and ocular health examinations to 357 children by transporting the children to TEI's pediatric service
- Distributed 642 pairs of eyeglasses to public school children
During the 2020-2021 academic year:
*Due to COVID closures, services/screenings were limited in the '20-'21 school year
- Vision screenings to 1,969 children
- Comprehensive vision and ocular health examinations to 37 children by transporting the children to TEI's pediatric service
- Distributed 74 pairs of eyeglasses to public school children
TEI once again collaborated with the Norristown Area School District (NASD) to provide eye care through a school-based vision clinic. TEI’s vision care team provided 61 comprehensive eye exams and 82 pairs of glasses on-site for NASD students.
Our vision care team also provided eye care to children in Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Abington and Souderton school districts with the University’s Mobile Vision Care Unit. The “Big Red Bus,” as it is affectionately nicknamed, includes all the essential equipment needed to complete a comprehensive vision exam. Using the mobile unit, 150 eye exams were performed and 287 pairs of glasses were dispensed to children in these three districts.
The Mobile Vision Care unit also made its way to Delaware County this year, where TEI’s team conducted eye exams for children in the Chester-Upland School Districts, which resulted in 49 eye exams and 70 glasses dispensed.
Last year, the annual “Looking Out for Kids” benefit raised over $135,000 making it possible to continue offering this important program within our community. Through our work and the generosity of our community partners, we can continue to help change the lives of children and provide them with the vision care that is necessary to ensure academic success.