It’s a new school year for children around the country. Amid all of the preparation and excitement, many parents might have forgotten the most important tool their kids need for school – clear vision. Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) encourages parents to take their kids to the eye doctor to help them start the school year right.
Vision impacts all aspects of a child’s life from learning, confidence, and making friends to participating in activities such as sports, art, or music. Yet children don’t ask for the help they desperately need because they don’t know they can’t see clearly. Children rely on their parents to be advocates for their vision care. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look for that could mean a child is having trouble seeing clearly:
Parents who suspect their child has a vision problem can use an online vision screening tool to help determine if their kids need an eye exam with an eye doctor. Early detection is critical, since school-age children with vision impairment can experience lower levels of educational achievement and self-esteem than their normally sighted peers.
Vision is essential for learning
One in four school children in the U.S. has a vision problem significant enough to affect their ability to learn. Vision is a key part of overall health, and vision screenings for school-aged children are required in 39 states. “A child who can’t see is a child who can’t learn,” says elementary school nurse Heidi. “With today’s rigor of schoolwork, every second counts. Children who struggle to see are struggling to learn.”  
Once a child is diagnosed with a vision impairment, families in need may not know how to get vision care for their children. Medicaid covers eye exams, frames and lenses for children under 21 under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment program, but many people with Medicaid are not aware vision is covered.
Making vision a priority in schools
Teachers and school nurses are often the first adults to recognize that a child may have a vision problem. EVF wants to reinforce their commitment to helping students and parents understand the importance of clear vision and has launched the $5,000 Reasons to be a Champion for Sight™” sweepstakes* that encourages educators to sign up for Champions for Sight and gives them the chance to win cash. The Champions for Sight program provides free educational resources to schools to use in the classroom and at home.
A total of $5,000 cash will be awarded to 10 winners — one $2,500 grand prize, four $500 first prizes, and five $100 second prizes. The sweepstakes runs through Sept. 30, 2021, and is free to enter and win. Teachers, nurses and school administrators can enter at Parents can help spread the word about the sweepstakes by sharing it with their children’s educators and posting on their social media.
FitnessGram® by The Cooper Institute is also raising awareness about the importance of clear vision and physical activity among teachers, school nurses and school staff by promoting the sweepstakes. FitnessGram assesses health-related components of fitness of more than 10 million students across the country in over 20,000 schools.
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About Essilor Vision Foundation
We strive to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly. Since 2007, Essilor Vision Foundation has provided more than 1.5 million pairs of eyeglasses to individuals in need. Essilor Vision Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, non-profit organization committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. To learn more, visit
About the FitnessGram by Cooper Institute
FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute is the leading evidence-based physical fitness assessment and reporting tool to promote health-related fitness for millions of students across the country. The assessment results allow school leaders, educators and policymakers to make data-driven decisions that improve student health and is part of The Cooper Institute’s mission to promote life-long health and wellness through research and education. To learn more, visit
About The Cooper Institute
The Cooper Institute was established as a nonprofit in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, to promoting life-long health and wellness worldwide through research, education and advocacy. By improving public health, The Cooper Institute helps people lead better, longer lives now and Well. Into the Future. To learn more, visit
*No purchase necessary to enter the $5,000 Reasons to be a Champions for Sight Sweepstakes. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states and D.C. who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry and are K-12 teachers, school nurses or school administrators who possess a web-enabled mobile device as of 7/31/21. Starts 12:01 a.m. CT on 8/1/21 and ends 11:59 p.m. CT on 9/30/21. For complete rules and eligibility, visit Sponsor: Essilor Vision Foundation
Contact: Meredith Marmurek
Source: Essilor Vision Foundation