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home : health : health Monday, November 20, 2017

12/18/2014 12:06:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
"See St. Paul" Campaign Provides Vision Screening And Eye Care To St. Paul Students

By Doug Stone

A new campaign to raise $500,000 to provide critical vision screening and follow-up eye care services to all St. Paul Public School K-6th grade students launched Monday, November 17.

Called "See St. Paul," the campaign is a joint effort of the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation, the St. Paul Public Schools and the Phillips Eye Institute Foundation.

As part of the kickoff, 40 students from Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet had an eye screening Monday, November 17, at the school, 1290 Arcade Street. Superintendent Valeria Silva, teachers and officials from the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation and the Phillips Eye Institute were on hand for the launch.

"Uncorrected vision problems may impact a child's performance in school and their overall quality of life," said Michael Anderson, executive director of the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation. "It's easy to understand that a child with an uncorrected vision problem is at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to reading, writing, participating in sports, playing games at home, riding a bike and most other things a child enjoys."

Anderson pointed out that nearly 80 percent of early childhood learning takes place through vision. "Yet last spring, one in five St. Paul students failed their vision screening," he said. "Regular screening, along with follow-up and correction, is essential for our students to be successful. Studies have shown that vision is the top health disparity contributing to gaps in student achievement."

St. Paul Public Schools currently screen students in kindergarten, first and fifth grades, but do not provide follow-up services. Working with the Phillips Eye Institute's Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) program, screening is being expanded this year to include students in third and sixth grades and will provide care coordinators to make sure students receive follow-up services and quality eye care in a timely fashion.

The See St. Paul campaign expects an estimated 13,000 students will receive eye screenings and follow-up care each year for the next 10 years as part of the program.

Anderson said that research has shown that healthy vision has a major impact on academic achievement, noting that test scores and performance increase following vision correction.

The See St. Paul campaign is part of the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation "Succeed St. Paul" campaign based on the idea that when all students succeed, all of St. Paul succeeds. The campaign hopes to support expansion of mentoring programs, volunteer tutoring, increased Inspired Educator Grants to St. Paul teachers for innovative teaching and greater financial support from the foundation and business communities.




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