From the Mayor’s Office:
Richmond, VA – Mayor Levar M. Stoney today joined Richmond Public Schools (RPS) Superintendent Jason Kamras at E.S.H Greene Elementary School to announce the results of the vision screenings from the 2017/2018 school year conducted at every RPS location across the city. Through a partnership with nonprofits Conexus and Vision To Learn, 12,467 students were screened over the course of the school year, and 4,040 were referred for eye exams. The effort began in October of last year at Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School.
“The Richmond community faces many challenges in helping our children be successful, and seeing the chalkboard should not be one of them,” said Mayor Stoney. “After receiving glasses, we have seen students’ math and reading grades increase, as well as improved classroom behavior and focus on class discussion and assignments. I thank Conexus and Vision To Learn for giving our students the opportunity for a better educational experience and making Richmond a leader in Comprehensive Vision Programming in Virginia.”
“We are appreciative of this wonderful partnership with Conexus and Vision To Learn,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “Identifying and resolving the vision challenges that our students are experiencing helps us to ultimately increase their chances for academic success. The eyeglasses that have been received will have long-lasting impacts on the future of our students.”
Students with untreated vision problems often struggle at school and are less likely to achieve reading proficiency by third grade, putting them at greater risk of dropping out. Conexus has provided vision screenings to 20,985 RPS students since 2015, referring 6,689 (32%). The national average is 25%.
Vision To Learn offered to provide each child who did not pass the initial screening with an eye exam, and, if needed, provided eyeglasses free of charge. This school year, 1,614 eye exams were given to students who returned a consent form, and 1,243 received glasses.
“Conexus has been able to determine vision problems down to each individual classroom level. There are 57 classrooms in Richmond Public Schools where more than half of the students were determined to have vision problems significant enough to impact their ability to learn,” said Conexus President and CEO Tim Gresham. “Conexus is grateful that Mayor Stoney has taken a lead and Superintendent Kamras is lending his support to help us identify Richmond Public Schools students with poor vision and address this significant public health and public education issue in Richmond.”
“Vision To Learn is pleased to provide free eye exams and glasses to students in Richmond referred through Conexus vision screenings,” said Vision To Learn President Ann Hollister. “In the past school year, Vision To Learn provided over 1,500 kids in Richmond Public Schools with eye exams and over 1,200 with glasses, helping them succeed in school and in life.”
To view the full results compiled by Conexus, click here.