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Two Non-Profits Partnering to Help Over 20,000 Kentucky Kids

Lions Clubs of Kentucky and the Kentucky Head Start Association will host a press conference today, May 15 at 5:00 p.m. in the Florence Lions Club House to announce that beginning in the fall of 2015, they will partner to provide free vision screenings to children enrolled in all Head Start Programs throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  

During the press conference leaders of the organizations will discuss the partnership and how it will impact over 20,000 children in Kentucky. Jennifer Miller with the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, Representative Addia Wuchner of the House Education Committee and other local leaders will be in attendance.
 
This project is made possible by generous grants received from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Louisville Downtown Lions Club and the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation (KLEF). The children will be screened using the same equipment and guidelines as KLEF’s KidSight Program which has screened over 80,000 children in Kentucky since its inception in 2003. 

“This project is the first to provide a massive scope of vision screenings for Kentucky children and we are proud to be a part of this,” reported Wenda Owen, Executive Director of the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation.

Children will be screened using a non-invasive screening device which with a 95% accuracy rate, will provide immediate results so that vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, unequal pupil sizes, lazy eye and other conditions can be caught and treated early.  Research has found that 95% of vision issues in children can be corrected if detected and treated early enough.

“We are excited to be able to offer this service to our children.  We have provided vision screenings to our children before but these new screening devices will make it much easier and provide instant and accurate results for our parents,” Allyson Shelton, Executive Director of Kentucky Head Start Association.

Lion volunteers and Head Start personnel will be trained as vision screeners. The screening sessions will performed between August and November of each year and the results will be given to parents at time of screening. Children who are referred for additional care will be provided follow-up resources by the Head Start Program. The screening program will be overseen by KLEF KidSight staff. KLEF’s mission is to prevent and cure blindness. 

For more information contact KLEF at 502-583-0564 or go to www.kylionseye.org.

Staff report/Photo: Brooke was prescribed glasses after receiving a free vision screening from her local Lions Club (provided)