RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Conexus Vision has a simple mission — remove poor vision as a barrier to a child’s success in the classroom. The results can be seen not just in the grades of the students but also in their behavior.

As Elizabeth Stowers, Communities in Schools of Chesterfield site coordinator, explained, “Last year we had a kindergartener who hated, hated, hated, hated getting on that school bus every afternoon. He would throw a tantrum, put himself on the floor.”

Turns out the boy could not see the bus he was getting on.

Conexus tested him, screened his eyes, gave him glasses and the school no longer had behavior problems with that child, Stowers said.

“Because he had never ridden a school bus before or sat in an environment where he had peers in very close proximity to him, all of that was very overwhelming to him, so these glasses truly changed his life,” Stowers said.

When children can’t see correctly, their learning is impaired and often they act out. This can disrupt the whole class and slow down the learning process for everyone. 

When a student puts on glasses for the first time, their comments can be very uplifting.

Stowers remembers two instances where her students were amazed by what the glasses did for them. 

“Two years ago we had a fifth-grader who put on glasses for the very first time and he looked down to the floor and he said, I see some dirt down there, I have never been able to see dirt on the floor,” Stowers recalled.

“Are you supposed to be able to see what color the marker is? Or are you supposed to be able to see exactly what the teacher wrote on the board?” another student said, explained Stowers. “Often we don’t think that there is an issue, and there is.”

“If you are looking to give this year to a non-profit, Conexus really truly does change the lives of children.”

You can make a difference in a child’s life by donating to the Gift of Light Campaign.

RVA Illuminates