An Early Childhood Eye Health and Vision Project
In 2003 the Alberta Association of Optometrists partnered with Elk Island Public Schools, the Ministry of Children’s Services, the Capital Health Authority, and the East Central Health Authority to launch an exciting pilot project called “Eye See…Eye Learn ®”. The project was designed to ensure eye health and/or vision problems weren’t a factor in preventing children from reaching their full learning potential. Parents of ECS (Kindergarten) students were encouraged to obtain comprehensive eye health and vision examinations for their children through local optometrists or ophthalmologists.
Raising the awareness of the importance of eye health examinations resulted in 30% more kindergarten children having their eyes examined. In children at this age level, it is common for approximately 6% to be prescribed eyeglasses and about 8% to have a binocular or accommodative vision problems. This means that 14% of kindergarten-aged children will have some form of a vision problem.
ALL public and separate school divisions across our province have endorsed the Eye See…Eye Learn® program. This means that each fall about 48,000 parent information packages are sent home with kindergarten children. Each package contains:
- Information on why eye health is important to your child’s learning process
- A copy of the form to be completed by the eye doctor at the time of the eye health assessment and then returned to the classroom. The 3-part Eye Health and Vision forms are available at participating optometrist’s offices.
- A list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding eye health and vision
- Information regarding the free eyeglasses
Because of the generous donations of industry sponsors, kindergarten children from participating school divisions will receive one FREE pair of eyeglasses if they are prescribed by an eye doctor.