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Wisconsin Vision gives free eye exams to MPS students

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 18:53:08-05

Wisconsin Vision is giving free glasses to more than 600 Milwaukee Public School students.

The optical company spends three days at two schools every year. MPS has been partnering with this business since 2008. Eye exams, helping pick the right frames, and then fitting students with their very own pair of glasses is all part of the process. 

Wednesday is Clark Street School's second day with Wisconsin Vision. First Grader Desier McGinnis admits that she and her sister can't see very well. She says squinting helps a little but her eyesight isn't great.

McGinnis is excited to get her new glasses, she already knows which ones will be for her. 

"I wanna wear purple my favorite- purple and pink my favorite color," says McGinnis. 

The school's gymnasium is now an optometrist office. Doctors work to help each student gain the best vision. Wisconsin Vision President and CEO, Darren Horndasch says sometimes the children need more than glasses.

"Yesterday I had a seven-year-old child with a cataract. Today, we had a child that was considered legally blind without prescription correction," said Horndasch. 

Horndasch notes that more than 35 percent of students every year fail the optical screening tests. Of that group of students, 90 percent of them need glasses.

Seventh-grader Jimmy Townsend and fifth grader Brooklynn Jones-Bynum are part of that 90 percent. 

"When I first thought glasses, I was like 'Glasses! I don't know about glasses.' but, I guess it helps you see. So I would say 'sign me up'," said Townsend. 

Jones-Bynum says she didn't need too much convincing about needing glasses. That situation, she says, was clear as day. 

"My dad is blind as a bat and he needs glasses. So I need glasses," said Jones-Bynum. 

Horndasch says 80 percent of a child's learning is through vision.  He says it's why they work with MPS, to make sure every student in school can see.