RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The start of the new school year is right around the corner and many children will be excited to see their friends again, be in a new classroom setting and have a new teacher.  However, if you are a student that cannot see the board clearly or read the textbook because of a vision problem, going back to school might be challenging.

Nearly 35% of children in our schools in Central Virginia have a vision problem — which is more than the national average. Last school year Conexus screened over 95,000 students and found more than ⅓ of those students had vision issues.

Healthy vision is the key to success in school, but only 15% of students will have their vision checked before entering school. That is where Conexus Vision comes into our local schools to help students across Central Virginia.

The schools in conjunction with Conexus will screen the students and those that fail the screening will be referred to see an eye doctor that Conexus will bring in and then if needed the child will be prescribed glasses which Conexus will have made and then fit to the student. However, as Tim Gresham, the president and CEO of Conexus explains, they are in desperate need of eye doctors to help their mission.

child getting an eye exam in a chesterfield county public school conexus vision
Conexus Vision helps students across the Richmond area see better by providing eye exams and glasses. (Photo: 8News)

“We really need to recruit some doctors, even if they work, you know, one day a week, two days a week. We’d love some three or four day a week. But at this point, we’re really looking for somebody to step up and say, I want to help make sure those kids get what they need,” Gresham said.

Conexus will pay a stipend to those eye doctors that can help see children in the schools and the process is very streamlined.

“These are kids that we’ve already identified that need to see an eye doctor. So they’re only seeing patients that need to be seen,” explained Gresham.

If you are an eye doctor and can help please contact Conexus by calling 804-423-2020 or you can email Melissa Perry with Conexus. 

If you are a good friend of an eye doctor, please bring this need to their attention and encourage them to help the children in our community.