Conexus is a local organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of children across Central Virginia by giving them the gift of sight.
“About one-third of the kids sitting in a classroom are unable to see well, and 80% of what a child learns in a classroom is through their eyes,” Tim Gresham, CEO, explained. “So, if a child is sitting in the classroom, not seeing as well as they should then they are not going to be as successful as they could be.”
Studies have shown that children who might not be able to see clearly could act out in class, disrupt others or become disengaged from the learning process.
Conexus works hand-in-hand with local schools to pre-screen student’s vision, and those that fail will then go through a routine eye exam, just like they were sitting in an optometrist’s office. But in this case, the office comes to the school.
“We are now providing this high-tech vision screening to about 60,000 students in 34 different school divisions,” Gresham said. “Our mobile vision clinic serves students in Richmond, Chesterfield and Petersburg.
“This year we will see about 3,500 students through our mobile vision clinic.”
While that sounds like a lot of students, Gresham says it’s not even close to the number of students in need, and that Conexus is looking to grow and expand their reach to help more children.
“We have more need than we can meet at this point,” Gresham added. “Right now, we have a clinic and a half. So, we have this mobile van and then we have another clinic where we set it up, a doctor’s office essentially inside a school. And that operates at about a 50% capacity this year. So, our goal is to move from one-and-a-half clinics to four full-time clinics in three years.”
Conexus is a non-profit organization that provides these services free of charge, but they need your help to sustain the mission.
“We are really limited by the funds that we receive, so the more funds that we receive the more children we can serve,” Gresham said.
WEB EXTRA: CEO Tim Gresham details the need for Conexus in the local community
For many students, they may not know that they need glasses to see better until they actually put them on for the first time.
CEO Tim Gresham explains in greater detail the need for Conexus in our schools and our community.