Glasses2Classes Coming to United Way Community Schools

Tuesday Feb 13th, 2024

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The Optical Academy award winning Mobile Vision Team will arrive at schools with state-of-the-art equipment to provide free vision screenings, mobile eye exams, and a variety of more than 500 eyeglasses for students to choose from.

With their onsite lab option, students’ glasses will be made in the same day right onsite! Optical Academy, the entity who runs the Glasses2Classes mobile unit, is steadily on its way to change the delivery of eye care one pupil at a time.

Thanks to backbone support from United Way of Erie County, free eye exams and eyewear are made available to students in the comfort of their school. This is a very tangible example of United Way’s Community School Model in action. Optical Academy has been an industry pioneer in onsite mobile eye care for over 10 years. They have perfected their model by strategizing and creating an onsite flow that is customized to each building. Optical Academy can provide an entire school building with vision screenings, eye exams, and eyewear all in just one day.

Their “in and out” model aims to ensure that the school day is not widely interrupted by the vision services. All students will be screened, examined and receive glasses, if necessary, in the same day with their mobile optometrist, mobile ophthalmologist, and mobile optician. Pre-Covid statistics suggested that 1 in every 4 children needed corrective eyewear. This number has jumped up to over 1 in every 3 students. The increase is correlated with the amount of virtual learning that students have been exposed to in most recent years. The impact that this has had on students’ vision has not gone unnoticed by Optical Academy.

This year, the company has committed efforts on bringing access to their Glasses2Classes program nationally. For reference, Glasses2Classes services an estimated 200,000 students in NYC public schools each year. Senior vice president of community impact Mike Jaruszewicz shared, "At United Way, we are fortunate to foster partnerships through community schools that leverage collective impact to address the many non-academic barriers far too many children in our community face. We know if a child cannot see, they cannot learn. That is why this partnership is so important.