Hartsville Lions Club provides free vision screenings for DCSD elementary students
Elementary students in the Darlington County School District are taking advantage of free vision screenings thanks to the philanthropic vision of the Hartsville Lions Club.
The Lions spent the past several months – and will spend the next few – traveling to every elementary school in the district to make available quick and free eye screenings for any child that would like to participate. The screenings are performed by a state of the art Welch Allyn Spot pediatric vision screening camera, and the machine provides an immediate print with diagnostic information for a family to take to an eye doctor.
What’s more is the Hartsville Lions Club will also work with families to provide up to $150 each per child for further eye evaluation and or glasses.
“The Hartsville Lions Club is excited about our new partnership with the DCSD,” said Allen Grantham with the Lions Club. “We have been given the chance to provide eye screening for approximately 3,500 elementary school students in Darlington County. What an opportunity to serve! We’ve been looking for an opportunity that will allow us to be more involved with our community and provide us the chance to deliver on our organization’s motto which is ‘to serve.’ ”
Recently, the Lions Club purchased their own screening camera thanks to a grant from the Byerly Foundation in Hartsville. Previously, the club had borrowed cameras from other Lions Club chapters.
The screening for students takes just a few seconds and is handled entirely by the camera, which is operated by a Lions Club member. The one-page printout will, if warranted, include a recommendation for further evaluation by an optometrist. DCSD school nurses across the district help coordinate the eye-screening events.
The additional funding that is available to children in the district for further evaluation and hardware is mostly provided through the Hartsville Lions Club’s Annual Vidalia Onion Sale, which typically takes place in mid-May. Last year, the club offloaded 20 tons of onions for the event. In recent years, the Hartsville club has partnered with other Lions Club chapters from across the area to bolster the services available to their communities.
“The Hartsville Lions Club is challenged by Lions Club International to give our time and effort to improving our community,” Grantham said. “We hope that by identifying vision challenges early in life for elementary school students that we can be a part of improving their academic success.”