To the Editor:

We would sincerely like to thank the Plymouth Lions Club for again undertaking the vision screening in the Plymouth community schools. Almost 600 children were screened in grades 5K, 1, 3, and 5 in the Plymouth Joint School District. The Lions Club also provided screening for St. John Lutheran and St. John the Baptist Catholic Schools. Of those screened, several children were identified as being in need of further evaluation by an eye care professional.

Vision screening in schools has a long history, the purpose of which continues to be the detection and referral for treatment of commonly occurring visual problems. Early detection of these problems can have enormous educational and behavioral benefits and certainly has quality of life benefits. Children with vision impairment are not usually aware of their deficit and therefore do not complain. Seeing things as blurred or distorted may just be interpreted as “normal” for them. Without intervention there may be permanent vision loss, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral problems and school failure.

The Lions Club has been doing this service project since 2009 so it is now in its 5th year. Mike McKenzie collaborated with starting the project when he was President of the Plymouth Lions Club and has continued on as Chairman of the Visual Screening Program. He gives credit to the assistance of at least 21 club volunteers for making the program successful. The Lions International Motto is “We Serve” and their main focus is serving the blind and the visu- ally impaired, so this parallels their main focus perfectly. This is a joint effort of their members and their spouses.

Club members have received training through “Prevent Blindness Wisconsin” and recently updated their certification at a local training held at Generations in Plymouth on October 24, 2013.

Thank you to all who assisted including Lions’ Club members, parent volunteers and school personnel for cooperating and working together to accomplish the screening in an efficient and timely fashion. Again, Thank you to all who assisted in this very important community service project!

Mary Peschke RN, BSN,
NCSN and Sara Stout RN, BSNPlymouth School District Nurses

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