EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Eyeglasses don’t come cheap. From prescription lenses to frames, it adds up. In Connecticut, an estimated 40,000 kids lack the glasses they need to succeed in school, but a new program called “Vision to Learn” is looking to change that.
Squinting to see a computer in the classroom, a smart-board, or to read a book. It can be very frustrating and a big deterrent to students who are serious about learning, but that’s about to change.
“We’ve given an eye exam to every child in need of one,” Silver Lane Elementary Principal Joseph LaBarbera said.
That gift is due to the “Vision To Learn” program. It’s dedicated to providing free glasses and exams to children in under-served communities.
East Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Nathan Quesnel said that the program benefits 2,400 kids in East Hartford, which is about 34% of their kids.
At Silver Lane Elementary, learning is about to come into focus for 22 students. One by one, students were presented with their glasses on Friday.
“I’ve got these new glasses and I can see better,” one student, DeAndra Martin, said.
For the estimated 40,000 children across Connecticut who struggle with impaired vision and its cost, this program is a game-changer and provides many benefits.
Connecticut Department of Education Manager Anne Bobrowski noted that this includes improved reading.
For students who accidentally break their glasses – no worries mom and dad – another pair will be provided free of charge up to a year.