Celebrating our 100,000th student served through our technology based children’s vision screening program is a significant milestone and we have many people to thank for this achievement. However, there are a handful of pivotal moments that really created turning points and opportunities to reach these heights and on this path to 100,000 a key investment from longtime supporters Horst and Gloria Arfert is one of those moments.
In 2015 Conexus established a scholarship fund to help defray costs and support VisioCheck programming to some of the more underprivileged Virginia communities. Horst and Gloria made the first sizable donation to this fund which allowed us to reach 22 diverse school divisions and 30,000 students across the Commonwealth.
This was the first large scale “statewide” VisioCheck delivery. This gave Conexus the opportunity to collect extensive data, identifying trends and service needs across Virginia. Successful programming at this level helped Conexus to be successful in the 2017 General Assembly, making changes to the VA Code to support improved children’s school based vision screening, and encouraged the development of a study with VCU to recommend VisioCheck as best-practice programming.
The scholarship fund is fully expended each school year to reach the maximum number of students possible. We are making great progress through the investments of those who believe that no child should unsuccessful in school simply because they need a pair of glasses. We hope you will be as inspired as we’ve been through people like Horst and Gloria, to make a difference. Become a member of our 2020 monthly giving Club. $20/month will provide Visiocheck programs to 2 full classrooms of students, finding more than 9 who need vision correction.
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In March of 2016, Conexus opened its first ever statewide application process for Virginia schools to request scholarship funding for VisioCheck programming. The window for the application was just a little over three weeks. In that time, requests were made for over 40,000 students. Initially, scholarship funding was available for 20,000 students; however, with the overwhelming request coupled with the tremendous success of the 25th Annual Golf Classic, Conexus was able to increase scholarship funding for up to 32,000 students. We are pleased to announce the list of school divisions that will bring VisioCheck to their students this fall:
The Conexus Scholarship Fund was established to allow us to bring affordable vision programs to as many students as possible. As a result, Conexus opened its first ever application process to more than 90 select school divisions in Virginia, giving them an opportunity to secure VisioCheck programming for their students for the upcoming 2016/2017 school year. The application process closed at the end of March, and the response has been incredible. We will work to accommodate as many requests as possible; awards will be announced later this week.
In late February, Conexus Program Specialist Corrine Huber delivered VisioCheck programming to nearly 800 students in four community schools of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The Diocese has partnered with Conexus in the past to provide programming to students, and this time needed some precise statistical data to help support the need for improved vision programming in their schools.
Conexus delivered programming that referred 240 students, 31% referral rate-well over the national average of 25%. The Archdiocese has arranged for follow-up eye exams and glasses for students identified through this project. As students receive the necessary eye care, the Diocese plans to monitor their school performance, and anticipates seeing improvements across the board.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has requested to partner with Conexus to help support an important assessment of vision needs of elementary students in the Catholic schools. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has recently improved health resources for students in their region, and is working to address its students' vision and the direct impact that it has on academic performance. As part of this project, Conexus will deliver VisioCheck to students in four schools, selected by the Diocese. Students identified as needing follow-up care will be seen by an eye care professional, and those needing glasses will be provided with corrective eyewear. Conexus is very pleased to have been identified as a contributor for this effort and we look forward to collaborating on collecting and sharing the results and outcomes.
With our annual delivery of VisioCheck in Patrick County Public Schools beginning this week, the very busy fall vision screening "season" has officially begun! We will screen about 800 students in Patrick County, then begin screenings next week for more than 4,000 students in Richmond City Public Schools. From there, we will move on to screen thousands of additional students throughout the area. If you are interested in knowing when and where our screening programs will be, keep a check on our home page.
We have developed this highly efficient and effective program over six years of program delivery under the advice and direction of leaders in education and vision. We are excited to be able to offer it in partnership with the participating schools, at decreased or no cost to them, through private funding of the programs and our Scholarship Fund.
To learn more about VisioCheck, click here.