Jax children get free eye exams

Kids in Head Start programs qualify for screenings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Vision Is Priceless Council is providing free eye exams and glasses for 80 children in the Jacksonville Urban League Head Start Program.

The exams Wednesday were at the Northeast Springfield Head Start Center, and on Thursday, they will be at the Normandy Head Start Center.

The children were tested for vision problems, and their parents came with them to see their children get the gift of clear sight for free.

"I'm grateful because with the economy the way it is now, a lot of parents can't afford vision care or it's not offered to them," parent Roslyn Holscy said.

"I mean, to these children it's normal to see the world blurry or not as clearly. It's an awesome service," said Latoya McCray, health supervisor for Jacksonville Head Start.

Nancy Kuhn, children's program coordinator, has been planning events like these for 10 years.

"It's very rewarding. It really is," she said. "We do a lot of screenings. We screen almost 30,000 children a year in the First Coast area."

The children who qualify for the free exams and free glasses are ages 3-5, have certain income requirements and are in Head Start programs.

"I can't explain the feeling. It actually brings tears to my eyes from talking to some of these parents," Kuhn said.

Donors are the reason it's no cost to the parents.

"It will really help out in our classroom setting. Children, if they can't see, they can't learn," Kuhn said.

Last fall, the council screened more than 1,500 children.

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