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 three locations for comprehensive vision care and eyeglasses. Each year, several hundred children are transported to TEI for the care they need.
What we were able to accomplish this past year using the dollars we raised in 2019 was quite impressive. Working collaboratively with The School District of Philadelphia nurses, we provided the following services to children in Philadelphia public schools during the 2018-2019 academic year:
- Vision screenings to 4,289 children
- Comprehensive vision and ocular health examinations to 204 children by transporting the children to The Eye Institute’s pediatric service.
- Distributed 408 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. On a rotating basis, portable exam equipment was transported directly to each school. Using this model, TEI’s vision care team provided 132 comprehensive eye exams and 224 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, 149 eye exams were performed and 253 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 William Penn, Chester-Upland School Districts as well as Delaware County Charter School, which resulted in 278 eye exams and 471 glasses dispensed.
A total of more than 1,350 pairs of glasses were dispensed to children in need during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Last year, the annual “Looking Out for Kids” benefit raised over $100,000 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.