CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Conexus visited Falling Creek Elementary School to perform free eye exams for many students through the organization’s Gift of Light campaign.
The Chesterfield-based nonprofit has visited the school several times over the past few years. During screenings, the nonprofit found nearly 45% of the students they worked with needed glasses — a higher percentage than the national average.
Conexus says that getting their message out to families with different cultures and languages can be a challenge. To help communicate with Hispanic families, they rely on people like Juan Santacoloma, a multicultural outreach specialist with Chesterfield County Public Schools.
“In our Latino countries, because of resources, because of financial support, we don’t have a way to pay for vision information,” Santacoloma said. “We don’t have a way to pay for glasses or lenses. So many of these families don’t have an idea about these Conexus services. So, I think it is important for [us] to let them know that [we] are here to support them. Most of the services or all of the services are for free. But also, to create awareness about how important it is for the children to have proper vision.”
Ana Servellon, a parent of a fifth-grade student at Falling Creek, said other parents should ask for help if they notice their child struggling.
“I think that it is a huge help for a lot of people,” Servellon said. “They just need to know that the program is there. They need to know where to go to ask for help so they can get that help.”
Anyone who notices their child squinting when they look at their Chromebook or TV, or hold books close to their face when reading, should be aware that their child might have a vision problem. Parents are encouraged to contact the school nurse to see if they work with Conexus.
For more information on the program and its mission to improve the lives of students with the “Gift of Light,” visit the Conexus website.