Hundreds of Chicago Area Elementary Students Benefit from Free Eyecare, Eyeglasses and New Books
PINELLAS PARK, Fla., April 10, 2012 – Transitions Optical, in partnership with VSP® Vision Care, will bring a 40-foot, state-of-the-art mobile vision clinic, nicknamed “Eyenstein,” to the Chicago area this week to provide hundreds of students with free eye exams and if needed, prescription eyeglasses. In addition, mobile literacy program Bess the Book Bus will also be providing the students with brand new, free books to help encourage a love for reading and also reinforce the connection between healthy vision and reading and learning.
Prequalified students from Guggenheim Elementary will receive a visit from Eyenstein and Bess today, followed by Morgan Elementary (April 11), Richmond Elementary (April 12), and Central Elementary (April 13). While onboard Eyenstein, students will receive a free, comprehensive eye exam by a VSP doctor and if prescription eyeglasses are required, they can choose eyeglass frames right there onboard the clinic that will be fitted with customized Transitions® adaptive lenses, donated by Hoya Vision Care, to help reduce glare and block 100 percent of harmful UV radiation.
“Eighty percent of classroom activity involves visual learning, yet studies show that one in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem that can interfere with the ability to read and learn,” said Dan McLean, marketing manager, communications, Transitions Optical. “Together, with our partners, VSP, Hoya and Bess the Book Bus, we are committed to making sure that every student has the opportunity to receive quality eyecare and books that will help them succeed both in the classroom and in their everyday lives.”
Since the inception of Eyenstein in 2010, more than 2,500 children nationwide have received comprehensive eye exams onboard the clinic and approximately 1,200 children received free eyeglasses with Transitions lenses.
Students from the Chicago elementary schools will also have the opportunity to climb onboard Bess the Book Bus to choose a brand new, free book and participate in read-aloud sessions, conducted by Book Bus founder Jennifer Frances.
“When visiting underserved schools, shelters and community programs across the country, I often witness the challenges students face when a vision problem interferes with their reading, causing them to squint, complain of headaches and be disinterested in picking up a book,” said Jenn Frances. “Partnering with Transitions Optical, who is sponsoring the Book Bus’ 2012 multi-city tour, and VSP for events like these is the perfect opportunity to provide students with the tools they need – new eyeglasses and books – to become enthusiastic, lifelong readers.”
Transitions Optical will extend its outreach even further into the Chicago community by participating in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Chicago Expo this Saturday, April 14 to raise awareness about diabetes and eye health. Free vision evaluations will be offered to all attendees, demonstrating the impact diabetes has on the eyes and how often through a comprehensive eye exam, doctors can identify symptoms that may help diagnose the disease.
In an effort to further educate children, families, and teachers about the importance of visiting an eye doctor regularly and taking proper care of their eyesight, Transitions Optical created the “Eye Didn’t Know That!” program, complete with lesson plans, family activities, games, and much more. As part of this program, families and schools across the country can make a “promise” to take care of their eyes. For every “promise” made, Transitions Optical will donate one new book to Bess the Book Bus and schools will have the opportunity to win a visit from Eyenstein and Bess during the 2013 school year. Program materials will be provided to all four Chicago area elementary schools this week, as well as attendees who visit the Transitions lenses booth at the ADA Expo this weekend.
To learn more about Eyenstein and Bess the Book Bus, and to make a “promise” to take care of your eyes, visit www.eyedidntknowthat.com.
About the Transitions/VSP Mobile Eyes Clinic
Since inception, the VSP Mobile Eyes® program has had over 980 VSP doctors volunteer their time participating in 417 events and helping more than 80,000 people see more clearly. What started as an extension of relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the program features two mobile eyecare clinics, each with two comprehensive exam rooms and full eyeglass dispensaries, which respond to disasters and assist people in need in communities throughout the U.S. In March 2010, Transitions Optical partnered with VSP Vision Care to introduce the third clinic in the Mobile Eyes fleet, Eyenstein, which has the unique feature of a finishing lab, featuring full-service lens finishing equipment, providing patients with eyeglasses on site.
About Hoya Corporation
Hoya Corporation is a global technology company traded on the Japanese stock exchange based in Tokyo, Japan, and the leading supplier of innovative and indispensable high‐tech and healthcare products based upon its advanced optics technologies. Hoya is active in four fields of business: The Healthcare provides eyeglasses and contact lenses for retail sales. The Medical provides endoscopic system and intraocular lenses for cataract surgery. The Electronics makes mask blanks and photo masks for the semiconductor devices and LCD panels as well as glass memory disks for HDDs. The Imaging produces optical lenses, SLR/compact digital cameras, lens modules and micro lenses. Hoya now has over 100 subsidiaries and affiliates, and employs over 36,500 people worldwide.
About Bess the Book Bus
Founded solely by Frances in 2004, Bess the Book Bus began visiting schools, shelters and after-school programs in the Tampa area to distribute children’s books and host readings for underprivileged children. Since then, Frances’ efforts have expanded, servicing more than 200 children and adults in need each week to promote literacy. Frances gives nearly 50,000 new books each year to schools, community centers and shelters, with 2011 being the record year, distributing nearly 100,000 books. The program continues to grow as Frances is in the midst of her fourth multi-city tour across the country. For more information about the program, visit www.bessthebookbus.org.