Martins Ferry Lions conduct eye screenings at school

Photo provided MARTINS FERRY Lions Club members, from left, Bill Tolbert, Pam Stecker and Mike Yeso conduct eye screenings on Ayers Elementary School’s fourth-grade students this week. Martins Ferry Lions conduct eye screenings at school

MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry Lions Club is checking the eyesight of Ayers Elementary School students during visits to the school this week.

According to information provided by the club, the Lions KidSight USA Foundation is a “nationwide program to safeguard the vision of children age 6 months to 6 years.”

“According to educational experts, 80 percent of learning is visual. So if a child can’t see well, he can’t learn well. Yet most young children don’t get their vision screened until they have problems learning or paying attention in school. By then, it may already be too late., Unless vision problems are detected early and corrected, they risk becoming permanent by age 7,” according to the Lions.

Martins Ferry Lions Club President Joe Lovell said the club’s district, which extends as far as Cleveland, has two machines it shares to check students’ vision.

He noted club member Mike Yeso received the training to use the machine to properly conduct the tests. After the testing, a printout of the results is given to the school nurse and the child’s parents. It will indicate whether the child should see a doctor for additional screening or testing.

“This machine never existed when I was little,” Lovell noted. “This is a great thing for the school, and we’re doing it for the private schools.”

Lovell said the club tries to do some screenings annually, but it takes a lot of coordination between the various clubs in the district and the schools.

“It’s free for the kids, and it gives parents and idea if a child is ready to go the eye doctor,” Lovell said.

He noted that providing eyeglasses for the needy is the Lions Club’s core mission. He said Lions member Bill Tolbert and his wife are charged with evaluating applications from the public for assistance in getting eye exams and glasses.