The ‘Gift of Light’ campaign, launched in 2013, supports Conexus programs such as VisioCheck, its screening program, as well as its Mobile Vision Clinic program, a free program that provides in-school non-dilated eye exams and prescription glasses to children. The Mobile Vision Clinic exams are performed by state licensed optometrists and, if prescribed, students are able to choose their very own pair of glasses and a Conexus optician will return a few weeks later to distribute the glasses.
“Right here in our backyard, we know that poor vision is a barrier to a child’s success,” said Tim Gresham, Conexus CEO. “We also know that the vast majority of children in our region did not visit an eye care professional before starting the school year, so our vision screenings and Mobile Vision Clinic programs are a critical component to that child’s chance at success because studies indicate that about 80% of what a child learns in a normal classroom setting is through their vision.”
“Over the years, the ‘Gift of Light’ campaign has had numerous variations, but a partnership with Virginia Eye Institute, VEI, has always been the cornerstone,” explained Jeff Baldwin, Conexus Communications Director. “This holiday season, we are proud to continue that relationship with VEI and we are extremely excited to add our friends at James Limousine and WRIC-TV 8 to the mix.”
“When so many of us Richmonders think of the holiday season, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Tacky Lights,” added Gresham. “Because of Conexus, thousands of children will see these lights clearly for the first time this year!”
Read more HERE, or donate to the campaign HERE.
THOUSANDS OF KIDS SEE CLEARLY FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER GETTING FREE GLASSES FROM CONEXUS - FROM NBC 12
Conexus for Children's Vision has been screening kids for vision problems and providing free glasses, and they’re doing it in some of the biggest pockets of poverty in the community.
When 6-year-old Tay-shun Williams put his new glasses on the first time, his hand flew to his mouth, giggled, and smiled ear-to-ear.
This past school year, Conexus screened 54,408 children across the Commonwealth, referring 16,959 for additional eye exams; a 31.2% rate. The national average is 25%.
You can read the entire NBC 12 story HERE.
Throughout the week of September 16th through September 20th, WRVA 1140AM personalities John Reid and Jeff Katz included several special guests on their programs to discuss the role that healthy vision plays in the classroom.
The guests included:
Tim Gresham, Conexus CEO; listen HERE and HERE
Dr. Mervin Daughtery, Chesterfield Public Schools Superintendent; listen HERE
Dr. Lindsay Jung, Conexus Optometrist; listen HERE
Jeff Baldwin, Conexus Communications Director; listen HERE
Tamika Green, School Nurse at Walnut Hill Elementary in Petersburg; listen HERE
Elizabeth Stowers, Communities in Schools Coordinator at Bellwood Elementary School in Chesterfield, listen HERE
Na-Keisha White, Health Specialist Richmond Public Schools, listen HERE
Taluanda Brown, Communities in Schools Coordinator at Redd Elementary in Richmond
We are extremely grateful for the support of WRVA and their team. And we would like to thank all of our wonderful partners that joined WRVA on air to share their stories about Conexus. Together, we are removing poor vision as a barrier to a child's academic success. THANK YOU!
As we enter the Back to School season, Conexus for Healthy Vision is gearing up to provide vision screenings to thousands of children in and around the metro-Richmond region. For the 2019-2020 school year, Conexus will provide its VisioCheck screenings for state-mandated kindergarten, third, seventh, and tenth grade in Richmond City, Petersburg City, Hopewell City, Colonial Heights City Public Schools, as well as children in Chesterfield County Title 1 public schools; an estimated total of 12,000-plus children.
“We know that about 80% of what a child learns in a normal classroom setting is through their vision,” said Tim Gresham, Conexus CEO, “and we also know that the vast majority of children in our region will not visit an eye care professional before starting the year, so our vision screenings are a critical component to a child’s school year.”
To read the full press release, click HERE.
1. Wear sunglasses complete with UV protection
Too much exposure to UVR can cause photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis (more commonly known as “snow blindness”) in the short-term. Continual UVR exposure, particularly exposure to UVB rays, may cause cataracts development, pterygium (a non-cancerous growth over the cornea) or skin cancer of the eyelids.
2. Use Goggles at the Pool
Frequent exposure to chlorine negatively affects the integrity of your corneal epithelium. The epithelium provides a layer of protection to your cornea from irritants and pathogens. If that protection is compromised, you have an increased likelihood of corneal abrasion or other eye injuries.
3. Wash hands and avoid rubbing eyes
Studies indicate that the best way to protect yourself from the spread of communicable disease is simply to wash your hands on a regular basis. This practice is crucial to avoid contracting eye-related conditions such as conjunctivitis. You often develop conjunctivitis after touching something that someone else has touched after they rubbed their eyes.
4. Wear hats
Have your child wear a hat with a wide brim. It not only provides additional protection against sunburn on susceptible areas like the nose, neck and ears, but it also helps to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. Not all sunlight enters the eye direct from the front. Have your child wear a hat with a wide brim. It not only provides additional protection against sunburn on susceptible areas like the nose, neck and ears, but it also helps to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. Not all sunlight enters the eye direct from the front.
5. Wear eye protection during outdoor activities
You should try to protect yourself, as much as practically possible, from contact with foreign bodies including sand) that can cause abrasions to your eye. If a child gets sand into his eyes, take the child immediately to a sink with running water. Do not allow them to rub their eyes as this can scratch the outer layer of the eye known as the cornea. Use a clean cup to pour water over the eyes to remove sand. Encourage blinking and do not discourage crying, because tears remove eye irritants. If flushing and blinking does not work, seek immediate medical attention.
6. Opt for shade when possible
Opt for shade whenever possible, especially between 10am and 2pm when the sunlight is the strongest.
7. Drink plenty of water
During the summer, people are more likely to become dehydrated, which can affect their eyes. Serious dehydration makes it harder for the body to produce tears, leading to dry eye symptoms and other vision problems. Drinking plenty of water each day can prevent and reverse many of the negative effects of dehydration, as well as providing fluid for normal eye function.
8. Use eye drops when needed
20,000 students in Richmond Public Schools (RPS) have benefited from a free program providing vision screenings, vision exams and glasses, celebrated today at an event featuring state and local leaders. The Richmond program, which began in October 2017, helped students in schools across RPS to ensure every student has the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, and participate in class.
An event on June 13th commemorated the entirety of the project, which combined the efforts of the city and school district staff with nonprofit providers Vision To Learn and Conexus. 24 students at Miles Jones Elementary School tried on their new glasses for the first time, an example of the thousands of students helped by the program. In all, over 20,000 students were provided vision screenings, over 3,000 with eye exams and over 2,200 with glasses – free of charge – without ever having to leave school.
Read the entire press release HERE.