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Being able to see correctly helps everyone in all aspects of life.
In school, not being able to see correctly could have negative effects on a students' learning ability. So for the last 17 years, Ohio Optometric Association has been going to various schools with their Realeyes program to instruct children ages 4 to 13 years on eye health and safety. They talked to four grade levels at Seton Catholic School on May 17, which meant the program has now reached more than 1 million students.
"Vision is important in childhood learning, and vision care is critical to the academic development of Ohio's children," said Dr. Jeff Walline, Realeyes Medical Director and Associate Dean of Research at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. "Eighty percent of what a child learns is through sight, and research shows one in four children has an eye disorder; yet alarmingly, only 14 percent of children entering school have ever had an eye examination."
Seton students in grades 1, 3, 5 and kindergarten were each given different presentations aimed toward there age level, according to Seton Principal Karen Alestock. According to OOA's press release, each program teaches how the eye works and symptoms of common vision disorders.
"It's important to us to take care of our kids, not only spiritually and academically... but in a physical wellness component (as well)," Alestock said.
The presentations were led by Dr. Katie Greiner of Twinsburg, a volunteer and longtime member of the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA). Greiner's primary job is with Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons, located in Stow, Kent and Akron.
"I do this because everyone needs to know to keep their eyes health at a young age," Greiner sad.
She added there is a free eye test that parents can have done to their 6- to 12-month-old children, long before they reach school age.
For Mrs. Pat Zuponcic and Mrs. Phyllis Rose third-grade classes, Greiner explained to students that there are many diseases eyes can develop. When she asked for a show of hands of who has glasses, more than half the class did. She also asked who had glasses but didn't wear them, which several admitted.
The third-graders then watched an interactive video where a detective was trying to find Vinny Vision to solve a case. The video was stopped multiple times as the students used their top secret classified pamphlets to solve various optical illusions and help the detective solve the case. Topics like nearsighted versus farsighted and using your eyes to see things beyond face value.
The students appeared to have fun while at the same time having their eyes tested.
The students ended the presentation with come free sunglasses and taking pictures celebrating 1 million students reached.
To schedule a Realeyes presentation for a school or summer program, or for additional information, contact the Ohio Optometric Association at 614-781-0708, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ooa.org.