Moms First: Free program will provide eye exams to students in Elkhart County

Free program will provide eye exams to students in Elkhart County. // WSBT 22 photo

It's called the kindness to prevent blindness program and it's a mobile RV unit that will travel to schools across Elkhart County to provide eye exams to students.

This is completely free to students.

According to statistics 60-percent of kids that are referred for eye exams never get them and that number jumps to 80-percent when we talk about those kids living in poverty.

But through donations of time and money, local students will receive quality eye care, all for free.

It may look like a typical RV on the outside but on the inside, it’s a customized eye care unit that will screen students across Elkhart County.

"This is free of charge to these kids. It’s all about every single kid no matter where they come from, what they look like, they have access to quality high quality eye care," said Hayley Boling.

So the Boling Vison Center and the Elkhart Education Foundation have teamed up to provide free vision screenings, eye exams and two pairs of glasses on sight at local Elkhart schools.

"We know that students have undetected eye problems get labeled special ed, they have delinquent behavior problems, they have more trouble in class. So we are hoping we are going to be unlock the potential of whole generation of students in Elkhart County." said Ashley Molyneaux, Exec director of Elkhart Education Foundation.

The staff and doctors at Boling Center Vison have committed to volunteering their time to help students see their best to be their best.

"It would not be possible without the national and local partner we have Esaloral Visons Foundation. Locally we have Forest River RV who donated the unit Lippert component who quarterbacked this entire initiative with us, and of course Boling Vison Center and the local Lions Clubs," said Boling.

The RV will change lives one eye screening at a time. For the Boling family and this was their vision all along.

"A lot of families are having to choose between putting food on the table and putting glasses on their kids face and that's a hard decision to make," said Molyneaux.

In the first year alone 4,000 students will come through the RV for free eye screenings throughout the Elkhart Community schools.

Initial screenings have already started for the students and by mid-October the RV will be rolling into parking lots for the actual eye exams in Elkhart.

The total cost of the eye care unit is close to $300,000.

This year they will screen about 4,000 students in Elkhart County and if all goes well they hope to roll out the RV to St. Joseph county students in the next few years.

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