In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions International to become Knights of the Blind. Greenfield Lions take this challenge seriously and recently provided eye screenings to all the kindergarten students of the Greenfield schools with the help of third-year Ohio State optometry students.
The idea of helping the Greenfield school nurse with eye screenings was first suggested as a club project in the fall of 2004. The first screening was held in the spring of 2005 and has been a yearly event ever since.
Third-year Ohio State University optometry students spend a day each week during one semester visiting schools and screening students in the greater Columbus area. The OSU students are able to give a more thorough screening than a school nurse would be able to do. Greenfield is the farthest they travel from the Ohio State University campus.
Tests performed by the OSU students include stereo acuity, near vision acuity, color vision, cover test, distance visual acuity, retinoscopy and ophthalmoscopy. This year a total of 113 students were screened with 26 of them being referred to see an optometrist. This is a 23 percent referral rate. The vision problems of these students might not have been found without the detailed screening performed by the OSU students.
In addition to the screening of the school district’s kindergarten students, Greenfield Lions are presently screening all preschool students in the school district. By Thanksgiving, Lions members will have screened almost 200 students in the preschool programs operated by Head Start, the First Presbyterian Church and the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools.
The students are screened for various problems associated with preschoolers’ eyes including lazy eye, near sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. If the tests indicate that something might be a problem, it is suggested the parents schedule an appointment with an optometrist.
All costs for the screenings are covered by the Greenfield Lions Club through sales of brooms, profits from the club’s Wheels of Progress burger booth and Christmas candy store, and donations to the Sight Seal mailings recently mailed out to community members. Without the public’s generous support, Lions programs such as these would not be possible.
The Greenfield Lions would like to thank everyone who generously donate to the club to help them truly be Knights of the Blind.
Submitted by Greenfield Lions Club.