A team of six from Utah’s EyeCare4Kids recently drove its Mobile Vision Clinic from Salt Lake City to Navajo Nation to serve children at Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley, Utah. The principal of Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai sent forms to parents of all students with an invitation for free eye exams for their children. Of the 50 students that responded to the offer and visited the mobile clinic, 35 of them needed glasses. The demographics of the kindergarten through six grade students included 49 native children and one white child.
EyeCare4Kids Mobile Clinics are fully equipped to provide professional eye exams and care, including fitting students with prescription glasses and frames. In addition to providing the exams and glasses, special guest SeeMore Bear entertained the kids as they waited to be seen by the doctors and staff. Playing the role of See-More was a familiar face, Joseph Carbone, founder of EyeCare4Kids.
“It was a wonderful experience to spend time with the children of the Navajo Nation, and perhaps more importantly, provide them needed eye care services,” said Carbone. “We know how critical good vision is for children for everything from learning success to individual confidence. The fact that 70 percent of the children we saw in Monument Valley needed glasses suggests there is much work to be done. We appreciate the leaders of the Utah Navajo Nation and Tse’Bii’Nidzisgai Elementary School for inviting us down to help these students.”
Eyeglasses from EyeCare4Kids for many students in underserved communities are typically free. If a child has Medicaid, the insurance covers the cost. For those who don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to visit a private optician, a pair of eyeglasses is $35.