Senator Holly J. Mitchell (Courtesy photo)

California State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell congratulated students at George Washington Preparatory High trying on their new glasses for the first time. Students were provided new glasses as part of an L.A. Unified-wide effort by nonprofit provider, Vision To Learn. The 2-year program will provide free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to every student who needs them in the district. The project is funded by the L.A. Clippers Foundation and L.A. Unified.

Senator Mitchell visited with students and complimented them on their stylish frames.

“I wear glasses and I can’t imagine having to go through my day without being able to see clearly,” Mitchell said. “This program works because students get the eye exams and glasses they need right here at school. It’s easy, it’s free, and the frames are cool. Every student deserves to be able to see at school.”

George Washington Preparatory High student trying on their new glasses for the first time (Courtesy Photo)

An estimated 60,000 kids in L.A. Unified School District go to school every day without the glasses they need to see the board, read a book or participate in the classroom. The primary hurdle is a lack of access to vision services for students in low-income communities. To solve this problem, Vision To Learn brings vision services to students at school using mobile clinic vans.

“Vision To Learn is proud to work with L.A. Unified and the L.A. Clippers Foundation to help kids succeed at school, and in life,” said Ann Hollister, Vision To Learn president. “This is our largest project to date, and together we are helping tens of thousands of students who otherwise would go without vision care.”

Senator Holly J. Mitchell poses with recipients of glasses from Vision to Learn. (Courtesy photo)

In 2017, L.A. Unified and the L.A. Clippers Foundation partnered to fund a district-wide program that will help every student in need, K-12th grade, over a 2-year period. In just the first three months of this school year, Vision To Learn has provided L.A. Unified students with over 10,000 eye exams, and 8,000 pairs of glasses. To accomplish the project, eight Vision To Learn mobile vision clinics visit schools 5 days a week. On board, trained eye doctors provide eye exams to students. If the student needs glasses, they can choose their own frame from a wide selection on the clinic.

The State of California has supported Vision To Learn’s work in California, first with a 3-year LA County pilot program that reimbursed eye exams for Medi-Cal eligible kids, and this year with a $1 million grant. As a public private partnership, Vision To Learn combines state and local funding with support from foundations, corporations and individual donors, to provide vision services to students in need.