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 University 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 since then, screening more than 1,500 students during that time.
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. Greenfield is the farthest the OSU students travel from the Ohio State University campus.
Tests performed by the OSU students screen for various problems associated with preschoolers’ eyes including lazy eye, near sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. The vision problems of these students might not have been found without the detailed screening performed by the OSU students.
This year a total of 130 students were screened. A letter was sent to parents of students with vision problems recommending the student have a more thorough evaluation by an optometrist.
All costs for the screenings are covered by the Greenfield Lions Club through sales of brooms, profits from the club’s Octoberfest food booth, Christmas candy sales and donations to the Sight Seal mailings.
This year the Community Christmas Musical to be held Dec. 8-9 will also support Lions philanthropic efforts. 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 Harold Schmidt.