See Better Learn Better Project
April to June 2018
Thanks to Cornerstone Jamaica and American Friends of Jamaica, without whom none of this would have been possible
Today, people live with poor vision unnecessarily because they never had appropriate testing and were never provided with eyeglasses. Those with the fewest opportunities are further disadvantaged by persistently poor vision. Without glasses, children with poor vision are at major disadvantage in school because 80% of all learning occurs through vision. Research shows that correcting poor vision with properly prescribed glasses results in a greater impact on academic performance than any other health intervention.
The AFJ has been supporting education programs in Rose Town through Rose Town Foundation for the Built Environment since 2006. Cornerstone Jamaica in collaboration Mission of Sight and Rotary International Negril have conducted “See Better. Learn Better” vision clinics for school children in the parish of Westmoreland since 2015.
These two organizations joined together to implement the See Better. Learn Better project in Rose Town in April 2018.
Dr. Katie Connolly Chief of Paediatric and Binocular Vision Service and Dr. Elizabeth Murray, both from the University of Indiana conducted examinations and were supported by a team of volunteers from Cornerstone Jamaica and AFJ, as well as members of the Rose Town Foundation and community.
The program ran for 3 hours per day for three days and was held at Rollins Enterprise Center in Rose Town on April, 16, 17 and 18 beginning at 3:00 p.m. each day to facilitate children attending after the school day had ended. In addition to visits by members of the Board of AFJ and the Chairman of the Rose Town Foundation, the event had coverage from Dervan Malcolm of Power 106.
The project was a resounding success with pre-registration exceeding the initial target of 100 children between 5 and 15 years of age. Drs. Connolly and Murray screened and examined 112 children in total and these children were able to choose their frames from a stylish range available and these were then modified on site to ensure a perfect fit.
Glasses were dispensed to 50 children on the 9th of June; 5 children with more severe cases received two pairs of glasses; 2 children will require referral follow up by a local Ophthalmologist.
AFJ also provided free clothes for the Rose Town Community.