(BEDFORD) - For the second year in a row, members of the area Lions Clubs will join forces to conduct vision screening of elementary and middle school students in Lawrence County schools.
More than 2,000 North Lawrence students in first, third, fifth and eighth grades will be screened Oct. 3 to 12. And more than 400 youngsters in third, fifth and eighth grades in Mitchell schools will receive the vision testing Oct. 13 and 14.
Members of the Bedford, Bedford Noon, and Fayetteville Community Lions Clubs will work in teams to conduct the screenings, according to Lion Jim Fisher, Sight Conservation Chairman of the Bedford Lions Club, who is coordinating the project.
This year's project will involve 1,155 elementary students, 459 middle school pupils and 360 students at St. Vincent, Stone City Christian Academy and the home-schooled. In Mitchell, 160 students will be screened at Mitchell Junior High School, and 273 will be tested at Burris Elementary School, according to Fisher.
"Working with school principals and nurses, the Lions will help complete this school year's state-required mandated vision screenings for each school," he explained.
Lions complete a certification-training program and donate their time performing the school screenings.
Each student's eyes are checked for distance and near visual acuity using the Snellen visual wall charts for first-graders, and Optec optical testing machines for those in third, fifth and eighth grades.
"Several Lions Clubs throughout Indiana are now participating in this valuable service for schools and children in their communities with great success," Fisher said. "The program has been under way since 2004. The program aids nursing staffs at the respective schools since the trained Lions normally complete the vision screening within two to three hours per school. Normally this would take school nurses several months to complete."
Nurses are given a written report on each student who is screened in areas of distance and near visual acuity. If screenings suggest the possibility of a problem, referrals are made for any additional professional eye exams that might be required.
A year ago during the school screenings, 1,832 students were checked in grades one, three, five and eight. As a result, there were 220 referrals. Lions also screened 15 adults in various schools and referred three of them.
The total number of people screened last year included 1,197 in elementary, 389 in middle schools, 153 at St. Vincent, 77 at Stone City Christian Academy and 16 who were home-schooled. A total of 38 Lions from the three area clubs participated in the project a year ago.
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