What is KidSight Nebraska?
It is a free vision screening program where Lions Club volunteers throughout Nebraska conduct vision screening sessions at preschools, kindergartens and other early childhood centers. Screenings are also conducted at health fairs and other public events throughout the state. The program is designed for children ages two through six, but the technology can be used to screen children as young as six months.
How much does it cost?
The screening is free, thanks to the support and volunteer efforts of the Lions of Nebraska and the Nebraska Lions Foundation. Funding will also be provided by individuals, corporations and grants.
How is the screening done?
It is as simple as having your child’s picture taken. Local Lions Club volunteers use a Welch Allyn Spot™ Vision Screener, a state of the art vision screening device, which is 85-90 percent accurate in detecting vision problems. It only takes moments per child, requires no preparation or medication and is totally painless. Parental consent is required prior to the screening.
Why Vision Screening?
The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of good vision. Preschoolers should have their vision checked for issues such as misaligned eyes, and problems that need correction with eyeglasses. These problems are not always evident by simply looking at a child. Young children often compensate for vision problems so well that parents, teachers, and pediatricians are unaware of a problem. By the time a child is old enough to be in primary grades, many of these common vision-robbing conditions can no longer be effectively treated. Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, can develop when an undetected vision problem goes untreated during a child’s formative years. The incidence of amblyopia in the United States is estimated to be 3 to 5 % of the population. Vision problems can also result in learning difficulties as a child enters the primary grades.
Because the eye is almost completely developed by the time a child is six years old, early detection of vision issues is mandatory in enabling critical physical and mental development and preventing sight-robbing diseases. Less than 20 percent of children receive a comprehensive eye exam prior to age six. Studies show that during a child's first 12 years, 80 percent of all learning is obtained visually. And down the road, studies indicate 70 percent of juvenile delinquents are found to have a vision problem.
Announcing KidSight First
Today we launch a fundraising effort to raise at least $100,000.00. As a part of Lions Clubs International’s KidSight U.S.A., our program can quality for a matching grant for the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) of up to $100,000.00. What that means is every dollar you donate to the Nebraska Lions Foundation earmarked to KidSight could be doubled by the matching grant.
We are calling our fundraising effort KidSight First and modeling it after the Sight First program from the early 90’s and Campaign Sight First II launched in 2006. We asking the Lions of Nebraska to dig deep into their own pockets to support this new program. Your Clubs can come up also with a new fundraiser for the program as well. The one thing we want to avoid is taking your normal donation to NLF and simply designating it for KidSight. The Foundation still needs your dollars to run the programs we have already set up.
Like with the Sight First program where donations of $1,000.00 qualified for a Melvin Jones Fellow, every donation of $1,000.00 is eligible for the new Hascall/Biggs award from the NLF.
The good news is that since announcing KidSight Nebraska back in November of 2014 Lions and Lions Clubs from across the state have already been donating to the project. To date the NLF has received $27,307.66. Being a quarter to our goal without a strong fundraising effort behind it is a great start. Now we need your help.
Our goal is to put three vision screening cameras in each district and an additional three cameras on the Mobile Screening Unit. Each camera cost $7,050. That is $105,750.00 in equipment alone. (As of July 2015 - we have purchased the First 3 Screeners) You can see why we need the matching grant from LCIF to assist in the running of our program and to establish a fund to help support those children that we screen who need assistance in seeing an eye care professional and with their glasses or corrective lens.
Can we count on your support? We hope so. In future Nebraska Lions papers you will see the running total of where we are. Realistically we would like to have the $100,000.00 by the end of the year. LCIF only meets 4 times a year to decide on which grants to issue so the sooner we get our application in the quicker we can start to assist the children of Nebraska.
Send your donation to:
NLF Treasurer, David Emry
3536 S 163rd St
Omaha, NE 68130-2117
Make the check out to the Nebraska Lions Foundation and use the Memo area to designate the funds to KidSight Nebraska.
Question? Comments? Have pics to submit?
Copyright 2013. Nebraska Lions. All rights reserved.