Vision To Learn Program Provides 1,000th Pair of Glasses to Detroit Students
FEBRUARY 25, 2017
Pistons Community Ambassador Earl Cureton and Detroit Health Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun Provide Glasses to Kids at Ronald Brown Academy.
A city-wide student vision care program celebrated providing its 1,000th pair of glasses today at Ronald Brown Academy. Pistons Community Ambassador Earl Cureton, Foundation Vice Chairman Arn Tellem, City of Detroit Health Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, and Vision To Learn Michigan Director Colleen Ochoa-Peters helped 49 students try on their glasses for the first time. Each student received a vision screening from the Detroit Health Department, then a free eye exam and glasses from Vision To Learn (VTL), a non-profit which provides eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities.
“As a glasses-wearer myself, I know how important good vision is at school – and on the basketball court,” said Mr. Tellem. “It’s great to see all of these kids getting the help they need to be superstars at school.”
The project began in October 2016, with a goal of serving students city-wide over the next two years. Since then mobile vision clinics have visited thirty Detroit Public Schools Community District and charter elementary schools. All told, the program is expected to provide 5,000 students eyeglasses this year. Sponsors of the program include The Ballmer Group, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, The DMC Fund at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Detroit Pistons Foundation and The Rathmann Challenge.
“I’m thrilled to see this program already making such a major impact,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Through this partnership, we are eliminating a major educational hurdle for students all over the city. This program connects the dots so that kids who need glasses, get glasses. Every child deserves the opportunity to learn.”
Pistons star Stanley Johnson encouraged kids to wear and care for their new glasses. “I get an eye exam every year and wear my glasses,” said Mr. Johnson, “You should too.”
“Vision To Learn is delighted to serve students in the City of Detroit, and pleased to have the support of our partners including The Detroit Pistons Foundation,” said Austin Beutner, Founder and Chair of Vision To Learn. “These glasses will help the students succeed in school and in life.”