If you are struggling with vision problems, learning can be challenging.
A simple concept shared by Ellyson Slater-Kobetsky, nurse for the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools. But for many of our students, having access to eye exams or eye care is not always easy.
To help JCCS students access care, Slater-Kobetsky worked with VSP to bring its mobile clinic to San Diego for three days to provide free eye exams and eye care to nearly 150 JCCS students from schools throughout the county.
“I never had the chance or the money to check to see if my eyesight was OK,” said Zulema, a student at Lindsay Community School. “Once they said there was an eye clinic coming to the school, I felt that was my chance to be able to do that. And I came here bright and early.”
Many JCCS students don’t have access to eye care due to financial hardship, lack of transportation, or other obligations.
For Stephanie, another student at Lindsay Community School, balancing work, school, and being a mom made it even more difficult to schedule an eye exam.
“The mobile clinic coming here to my school made it easy to have my exam here and get my prescription and choose my glasses – and not take a long time,” she said.
At the mobile clinic, students received a pre-exam, then were seen by one of VSP’s ophthalmologists. If a student needed glasses, they could choose from a selection of frames in the mobile clinic, and get their prescription filled on the spot.
In advance of the clinics, Slater-Kobetsky identified students that needed eye care or glasses based on a pre-examination. Using a grant she secured last year from the Rest Haven Children’s Health Fund, Slater-Kobetsky purchased a Spot Vision Screener that has helped her to better screen students that need glasses.
“We have a lot of students with a need,” said Slater-Kobetsky. “I come across teenagers that have never had glasses and cannot read the board or notices posted on the wall or in the office from a few feet away. We’re giving them another tool so they can be their best self and move forward to college and career.”
Students unable to attend the clinic receive a VSP certificate for free eye exams and free glasses at a later date.
“With the help of all my team members - the parent family liaisons, counselors, teachers, support staff, and administrators, everybody came together to ensure that all the students got here and had permission slips,” said Slater-Kobetsky. “It was a team event - a team success for the students.”