Charleston, SC – Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired – Charleston (ABVI) is pleased to announce it has received an $8,200 grant from the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation to provide funding for vision clinics at two Charleston County elementary schools. These funds will support the continuation of ABVI’s Focus on Children program which provides free vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, prescription glasses, referrals and eye care education to Charleston County students.
Through Focus on Children, ABVI performs vision screenings on students in 22 Charleston County schools, 21 of which are Title I. ABVI then provides comprehensive eye exams for children not passing the initial screening and, when indicated, provides free prescription glasses and/or referrals to a doctor for follow-up care. The students are preschool-aged, and are mostly Head Start and Child Development students. The primary goals of Focus on Children are to restore vision and prevent the incidence of unnecessary vision loss. Through our program, we aim to catch and address vision impairments in children at an early age before permanent damage or interruption in the child’s educational career occurs.
“We are excited to announce the Yaschik Foundation Clinics will be held at Chicora Elementary and Memminger Elementary schools this Fall,” said Brooks Harken, Director of Programs for ABVI. “We are grateful for the support from the Yaschik family as we continue to provide critical services for Charleston County preschool students.”
The Yaschik Foundation grant is part of the ABVI’s new “Fund-a-School” initiative where an individual or a group can sponsor one of our 22 Charleston County vision clinics. As a “Fund-a-School” partner, the organization or a group not only has the opportunity to have the vision clinic named after them, but representatives from the organization are able to volunteer during the sponsored clinic. Naming options for the 2017-18 school year are still available.
During the 2016-2017 school year, ABVI screened 1,567 children, 295 received comprehensive eye exams and 140 received free prescription glasses. 53 children were also referred for additional optical care for conditions that glasses alone may not address.
About Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston
The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston’s mission is to empower individuals with blindness and visual impairment to lead safe, dignified, independent and rewarding lives and to prevent vision loss for adults in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties and children in Charleston County Title I schools. Founded in 1936, we have been serving the Tri-County area for over 80 years. We have three main programs supporting our mission: Focus on Adults, Focus on Children and Own Your Life. Focus on Adults and Focus on Children are preventative programs aimed at catching vision impairment in the early stages and restoring vision when possible. Own Your Life is geared towards helping our blind and visually impaired clients attain independence in their personal and professional lives. In addition, we provide guide dog scholarships for our clients as well as opportunities for social engagement.