Eye See Eye Learn Program
Together with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and other community partners, the Ontario Association of Optometrists is pleased to once again offer the Eye See…Eye Learn program to Hamilton Junior Kindergarten families.
The Eye See…Eye Learn program, open to all Hamilton-Wentworth Junior Kindergarten students, provides OHIP-insured eye exams by local participating optometrists and a free pair of brand new, high quality eyeglasses should they require them. The program is completely free for parents. The Eye See…Eye Learn program is intended to remove all vision barriers from children , provide proper eye care if prescribed, identify potential underlying health concerns and allow young learners to reach their full potential in school.
The Eye See…Eye Learn program was created to address the troubling Ontario statistics which show that only approximately 25 per cent of children between the ages of five and nine had been examined by an optometrist and, by contrast, only seven per cent of children five years of age and under were seen in this same time period. This is despite the fact that annual eye examinations are covered by OHIP for children 19 years of age and under.
"Too often children don't complain to their parents about not seeing well because they don't know what normal vision is supposed to look like," says Dr. Sheldon Salaba, a local optometrist and Chair of the Eye See…Eye Learn program. "Children can be labelled as having behavioural or learning disabilities because they are unable to see or focus on the work when all they require is a pair of eyeglasses. An eye exam can give parents the piece of mind of knowing whether their child can see well or not."
Morris Hucal, HWCDSB Assistant Superintendent, agrees. "We recognize the important link between eye health and learning and we support the recommendation for comprehensive eye examinations for all children entering Kindergarten." "Eye See…Eye Learn aligns with our commitment to early intervention and prevention," adds Dean Younger, Early Years Consultant, "and continues to have a significant impact on our youngest learners as they embark upon a journey of life-long learning."
For more information on the Eye See…Eye Learn program, parents are encouraged to talk with their child's Junior Kindergarten Teacher, visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists' web site at www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca or call 1-855-424-3735.
Jackie Bajus, Superintendent of Education, concludes, "The Eye See…Eye Learn program is another way HWCDSB ensures that Junior Kindergarten students are provided with a strong start in realizing their full potentials."