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Program helps local residents get free eye exams

Your child's vision is the most important tool for success in school. When vision suffers, chances are schoolwork does, too. School age children should see an eyecare practitioner at about age 6 and every two to three years after that if they have no visual problems. If your child requires glasses or contact lenses, schedule appointments every 12 months. Prescriptions frequently change because vision matures along with your child. The eyecare practitioner will also ensure that your child has the visual skills necessary for succeeding in schools, such as using the eyes as a team, peripheral vision, ease of focusing from distance to near and eye/hand coordination. A vision screening performed by the school nurse is not a complete eye exam. These screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem, not to take the place of a visit to an eyecare practitioner.

For the sixth year Communities In Schools, a member of McDuffie County Partners for Success, Inc., has offered Sight for Students, a nationally recognized program for children up to age 18 years. The program is free of charge for eligible families and provides free eye exams and eyeglasses for children who qualify. The child can not be enrolled in Medicaid or any other vision insurance program, the family income can be no more than 200 percent above the poverty level, the child must be 18 years of age or younger and has not yet graduated from high school, the child or parent is a U.S. citizen or a documented immigrant with a social security number and the child has not used the Sight for Students program within the past 12 months. Examples of the family income eligibility are: a family of three must make less than $30,520, a family of four must make $36,800 or less, and a family of five must make less than $43,080. The process to receive the gift certificate takes less than five minutes and only requires proof of family income, the child's social security number, the child's birth date and home address.

Drs. Mike McQuaig and Robert Hughes are the local participating optometrists and have seen approximately 200 children over the past five years, providing the free eye exams and glasses for those in need.

If you or someone you know may be eligible to receive this service, please contact the Partners for Success office at 595-3112 to set up an appointment to complete the paperwork. Appointments for Family Eye Care Associates are made at the same time and can be scheduled within one to two weeks.



Web posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2005











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