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Richmond students receive free eye exams, glasses

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras held a press conference Thursday to announce the results of a vision screening initiative that aims to benefit students with impaired vision.

Dozens of children impacted by the initiative filled the auditorium. Mayor Stoney said in the 2017/2018 school year, 12,467 students from Richmond Public Schools were screened, and 4,040 were referred for eye exams. More than 1,200 of those students received a free pair of glasses.

"This is all about the children," Mayor Stoney said at E.S.H Greene Elementary School. "Some of our children have a lot of challenges at home, and we want them to be able to walk through those doors everyday, and perform at a high level, but you can't perform at a high level if you don't have the basic eyewear to see the blackboard."

Mayor Stoney said a screening of more than 21,000 Richmond Public School Students since 2015, showed 32 percent of those students have a vision issue.
He said that's higher than the nation average of 25 percent.

The initiative to give thousands of students access to free vision care started in October through a collaboration with Vision To Learn and Conexus.