Mobile eye exam unit traveling from school to school, giving students gift of vision

Mobile eye exam unit traveling from school-to-school. // WSBT 22 photo

It's the first of its kind in the country. A unique mobile eye exam unit is now visiting local schools.

For many of the children, this is their first visit to the eye doctor.

It’s a gift that will never stop giving -- the gift of better vision.

Some students at Riverview Elementary and other Elkhart schools will be receiving two free pairs of glasses, one to be kept as a back-up at school.

This is after they receive an eye exam from the staff at Boling Vision Center.

It happens in a mobile unit that travels from school-to-school.

The Elkhart Education Foundation helped organize the initiative.

“If kids can't see, they can't learn and so we want to make sure we are unlocking their full potential by giving them the glasses that they need,” said Ashley Molyneaux, Elkhart Education Foundation. “Many of our students, about one in four in Elkhart Community Schools, have an undetected eye problem.”

There is a quick turnaround for the glasses – they’re made the same day!

For youngsters to be able to get and have their first pair of glasses and actually see, it can mean all of the difference in a number of areas, in the classroom, when reading, at home or in life in general.

“Our opinion is, if we can get these young people in a pair of glasses and allow them to unlock their potential, and then those young people can help others in their current situation,” said Dr. Richard Boling II. “Then their children, and then their children, then that's the ultimate ripple effect for us.”

Jessica Randall was pleased her son Carson was able to get glasses.

“Carson does need glasses,” said Randall. “His right eye is perfect and ready to go, but his left is a little less functional. This is a fantastic opportunity for our family financially. It helps us out a lot and I am very blessed to have this opportunity.”

“I like my glasses because they are kind of cool,” said Carson. “I am excited because I can see much better.”

The free eye exams will be available to referred students in the first third and fifth grades.

The goal is to screen 4,000 students in Elkhart Community Schools.

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