HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Thousands of Connecticut students do not have the eyeglasses the need to see properly. However, there is one group working to change that.
The group is needed now more than ever, because, by the end of this month, those students will be back in school.
“Imagine being a student at school who is sitting in the classroom, and the teacher is writing numbers on the board and they’re doing this, they’re trying to squint to see, right?” said Damian Carroll, the national director of Vision To Learn. “That’s what we’re trying to help.”
Vision to Learn helps by providing free eye exams and glasses to kids who might not otherwise get them.
“The doctor did tell us that he has an astigmatism, which he didn’t complain of and we didn’t know,” said Sonam, the mother of one child. “It never popped up in any of his earlier, routine checkups.”
Vision to Learn is a non-profit that started in California. In Connecticut, it now has a mobile eye clinic that it takes to schools and libraries. Thursday morning, the group handed out glasses at the Hartford Public Library’s Albany branch.
“Every student deserves to see clearly,” said Bridget Quinn, the president and CEO of the Hartford Public Library. “They need to do that to succeed in school and in sports and in life and anything that they’re doing. So it’s such a critical thing.”
This summer, the group is getting an assist from mascot Blaze and the Connecticut Sun Foundation.
“Something that we learned, which was mind-blowing to me, was that, just in Connecticut, there’s as many as 50,000 kids that don’t have the glasses that they need,” said Morgan Tuck, the director of franchise development for the Connecticut Sun.
After Thursday morning, 11 more students have the glasses they need. If any child breaks their glasses, as kids often do, Vision to Learn will replace them for free.