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Karla Rodriquez Mata, MSW, Certified School Counselor/Social Worker for Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School in South Phoenix, Arizona invited EyeCare4Kids Arizona (EC4K AZ) to participate with a variety of other support service organizations at the annual Meet the Teacher Night

Non-profit EyeCare4Kids provides free eyecare for children in need | ABC15 Arizona

by | Sep 15, 2023 | News | 0 comments

ABC15 Arizona


When you have issues with your eyesight, reading and learning, especially for kids, can seem nearly impossible. But now a rare program is expanding from Utah into Arizona, and this one is giving thousands of kids the gift of sight.

It’s a relief for me because it’s just me by myself, and I’m with four kids.

Tiffany Bonds is a single mom with a full-time job, making sure her children have what they need to learn. Learn and grow. But when her twin girls and both of her boys, too, failed their elementary school vision test a few weeks ago, she had no idea how expensive glasses would be.

“I did take them to a regular doctor, and each pair was like over $150.”

So- For each of them?

For each of them, frames. And then you have to pay for the vision test as well. So for me, it’s just unaffordable.

Her son, Elijah, excited to get his glasses.

He’s a fifth grader who loves reading with his siblings.

“We’re always trying to scourge and find more books.”

With so many families struggling right now financially, standard eye care isn’t always an option.

But the Nonprofit Eye Care for Kids is changing that thanks to a medical assistance grant from the Vitalist Health Foundation and optometrists like Dr. Inga Fors.

“I’ve seen firsthand how patients come in and they don’t want to read, they have headaches, they have all these issues. And then by the end, when we’re done with them, they’re excited to read. They want to come in. They’re very happy.”

The clinic is open on Wednesdays in Glendale at Barcelona Elementary School.

But Dr. Fors tells me any family can apply.

Those who do qualify get free comprehensive eye exams.

“You want to make sure retinal health is good. You want to make sure that their eye movements are fine. You want to make sure alignment is good that they’re not having any developmental issues. So we test for that as well. And then that also tells us the success that they would have in the classroom.”

The bonus, a confidence boost for kids.

A free pair of glasses.

Pick any color, any frame that you want. We want to make sure that they are liking what they pick that the parents are influencing them and saying like, Oh, don’t pick out this one because it’s not going to go with.

Your outfits. All parents have to do is ask. And thankfully for her kids, Tiffany Bonnes did.

How has life been different, though, now that they do have these glasses in terms of learning?

They can find stuff. They can find things. It’s right there. What? Oh, okay, I see it. So I think it’s just better as far as vision and locating things, better as far as reading. So everything has just been far more better as far as their vision.

And better for you, too, because you don’t have to go around looking for the stuff.

They need to find. Exactly. They need to find it. You can’t see it. It’s right there in front of you. So yes, it’s very much a joy.

Mom to mom, we could so relate on that level. It’s like, Oh, my gosh, please. Things are so expensive right now. So hearing Tiffany say that, I mean, it’s something I know all parents can relate to. And when you say all parents, this really is open to all kids. So just keep that in mind. It’s a free eye care for kids’ clinic. It’s currently open every single Wednesday there in Glendale, as I mentioned, and it’s open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Now the clinic is hoping to expand this in the future to daily appointments. You just need to get busier, right? And it is free again. So you’re going to need an appointment. We posted that phone number right there on your screen.

It is 602-336-2208.

Of course, you can also email their infoaz@eyecareforkids.org.

And I posted even more information for you. It’s up right now along with this story at abc15.com


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