Eye Care: Giving Every Student Access to Perfect Vision
Going to the eye doctor may be commonplace for many families, but for MHS students and other children from poverty, they often don’t know what the inside of an eye doctor’s office looks like because they’ve never visited one. Unfortunately, vision impairments can hinder a child’s ability to gain an education and future employment, ultimately causing a cycle of poverty for families.
At Milton Hershey School, we’re breaking the cycle by providing comprehensive eye care to every student on campus:
- 1,123 eye exams were performed last year.
- 1,597 eyeglasses were provided last year.
- All vision care is provided at no cost to students and their families.
Once a week, an optometrist and an optician visit MHS so students can receive eye care on-campus. The eye doctors perform eye exams, answer questions, and place orders for glasses whenever necessary.
“We have kids who have never been to an eye doctor before, so that’s a very different experience for them,” said Debra Ferguson, MHS Director of Nursing and Medical Services. “These are kids who had to squint to see the chalkboard in their school buildings. For them to actually to be able to see again…it is very rewarding.”
In the eye clinic, the goal is for every student to have perfect vision. Many children experience a combination of emotions, such as excitement and fear, when they see all the glasses in the office. But once the lenses are put to their eyes and they can see clearly, they are ecstatic. Their clear vision also makes a significant difference in the classroom.
“We often get referrals from teachers who notice kids in their classrooms struggling to see,” said Ferguson. “When they finally get correction for their vision problem, it makes all the difference in the world. They perk up, they become more engaged in the classroom, and they become a better student all around.”
MHS Professionals Blog
No matter what level of interaction MHS staff members have with students, everyone’s work contributes to our goal of building brighter futures through a top-notch education. Read the blogs of our professionals and hear from the talented individuals who live out the school’s mission.