With the ability to prevent or cure 80 percent of all visual impairment, the Lions Club International makes vision screening a part of its mission.
The local chapters of the club are dedicated to making sure Ridgefield students are checked regularly as detecting these impairments while children are in school can make a significant difference.
The process at View Ridge Middle School is fast and easy.
As seventh grade students line up in the hallway, names were checked off of a list and they took turns sitting in a chair along a wall. A Lions Club volunteer stood a few feet in front of them holding a ViewMaster type device.
“Look at the nose,” the volunteer said.
In just a few moments, each student had their vision screened and they could head back to class. With this automated process, volunteers know quickly whether the student’s eyes are fine or if they should see an optometrist.
Over the years, Lions Club screenings nationwide have found thousands of kids who need glasses as well as children with cancer, detached retinas and childhood cataracts. Lions Club volunteers are trained to use the specialized cameras to screen kids for a wide range of vision issues.
Lions Club member David Page brings the cameras from the Salmon Creek chapter as volunteers from both Salmon Creek and Ridgefield help with the screenings. The Salmon Creek Lions Club has been doing vision screenings across the region since 2015. By the end of this year, they will have completed more than 30,000 screenings.
The Ridgefield Lions Club has partnered with the schools since 2017 to screen 4,500 students in kindergarten, third grade, fifth grade and seventh grade.