In this week’s Notes from a Nurse, KVFL talks with Ashley Karleskint, Registered Medical Assistant for Bayless Junior High in the Bayless School District.
The KVFL program began in 2009 and only provided vision services for students in K-6th grades at local elementary schools. During the 2015-16 school year, KVFL expanded the program to include middle school students. Bayless Elementary had been involved with KVFL for several years and we were excited to provide the district with the opportunity to test pilot our expansion into the middle school population. Our first year at Bayless Jr. High proved to be a success and 29 students received an eye exam on our mobile vision clinic. This number raised to 40 exams this current school year.
Nurse Karleskint was excited for the extra help KVFL provided with screenings. Previously, she screened the 8th grade students and relied on parents to ensure their child received follow-up care. Students were screened one at a time by K. with an OPTEC 1000. Through KVFL, all students at the junior high are screened in a quick, streamlined process that only takes a few hours. By bringing out services directly to the school, the burden of taking children to an eye doctor is removed from the parent.
“KVFL has had a huge impact on our students by providing them all with easy, quick testing and a way to get glasses, if needed. Before KVFL, all we could do is refer a student for further testing and wait for the parents or guardians to take them for follow up. If the student is never taken, they do not receive the care they need to do their best in school. This program gets them the help they need immediately and for FREE!”
Vision is a crucial component to successful learning in school. Karleskint sees firsthand the positive impact the ability to see provides students.
“ I enjoy working with KVFL because it gives all of our students the opportunity to receive an eye exam and free glasses. Students struggle to see the board or read, so their grades aren’t very good. KVFL gives these kids the chance to see correctly and do better in school.”
During the 2016-17 school year, 1,188 students were screened in the Bayless School District. 86 students received an eye exam and 77 pairs of glasses were prescribed.
Please consider a donation to KVFL this upcoming Give STL Day on May 11th. Your donation will go directly to a St. Louis student in need. More information can be found at: https://www.givestlday.org/kidsvisionforlifestlouis