40,000 disadvantaged students to receive free vision screening

State Schools’ Relief rolls out ‘Glasses for Kids’, a three year program to help re-balance disadvantage due to vision impairment.
Oct 21, 2020
Envisioning equity

State Schools’ Relief, in partnership with the Victorian government, is again delivering the ‘Glasses for Kids’ program.

In research it was revealed that over 56 per cent of parents of underprivileged prep students had expressed concerns about their child’s eyesight but did not attend a vision service, and approximately 83 per cent of prep students had not been seen by an optometrist in more than 12 months.

For the 2020 to 2023 program, State Schools’ Relief is scheduled to visit 340 schools across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria and will invite more than 40,000 prep to grade 3 students to participate in an initial vision screening with a view to improving student attitude and engagement, reducing financial stress for parents and improving school attendance.

Between 2015 and 2018, over 39,600 Prep-Year 3 students from 290 schools in some of Victoria's most disadvantaged communities were invited to participate in the ‘Glasses for Kids’ program.  Of these students, approximately 20,600 students opted into the program, which saw more than 1,900 pairs of glasses provided.          

State Schools’ Relief is a Victorian organisation, providing anonymous assistance through the provision of uniforms, shoes and other essential educational resources, to students who have been identified by teachers and principals as struggling with the impact of material disadvantage. 

CEO of State Schools’ Relief, Sue Karzis, believes that the ‘Glasses for Kids’ program had an immensely positive impact on the learning experiences and overall engagement for the students who participated. 

“The evidence base tells us that children from vulnerable families are not accessing eye health and this program will assist in removing vision impairment as a barrier to education so that they can engage fully with learning in the early years,” she said. 

The program’s service delivery began in Term 1, 2020 and will conclude by Term 4, 2023. Service delivery for each school has been scheduled to avoid targeting children who previously participated in the program. 

More information can be found via the State Schools’ Relief website here.

Photo by Alizee Marchand from Pexels