Childhood Family And Learning Foundation’s Phyllis Landrieu To Host Vision Screening During National Child Eye Health And Safety Month, Thanks To Southern Eye Bank Grant

NEW ORLEANS – Southern Eye Bank has extended its support and provided a grant to The Childhood and Family Learning Foundation.

         Impaired vision in children can seriously impede learning and contribute to the development of education, emotional, and behavioral problems. In the United States, the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions are vision disorders including amblyopia, strabismus and significant refractive errors. Early detection increases the likelihood of effective treatment.

         In the 2014-2015 school year alone, more than 45% of the school-aged children that were screened by the Foundation did not pass their vision screening. This new grant will allow the Childhood and Family Learning Foundation to purchase two Spot Vision Screeners. This technology will help the Foundation serve an even greater number of students and identify vision issues that are often unknown or undetected.

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         On Thursday, August 27, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., Phyllis Landrieu, President, CEO and Founder of The Childhood and Family Learning Foundation will host Connie Bellone, COO of the Childhood and Family Learning Foundation and her staff to perform vision screenings with the new equipment at Esperanza Charter School, 4407 S. Carrollton, in New Orleans.

         This school, in particular, has a large number of students that use English as their second language, which can make accurate screening difficult. The Spot Vision Screener will negate the language barrier and provide an accurate objective vision result immediately.

         Landrieu worked closely with Father James Carter, who is on the Board of Trustees of Southern Eye Bank, to receive the donation.

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         The Spot Vision Screeners will allow the staff to use a handheld, portable device to provide screenings quickly and easily detect vision issues on patients from 6 months of age through adulthood. This will decrease the time it takes to perform these tests and will allow triple the amount of vision screenings in the same time frame as before.

         “We work with a diverse group of students of all ages, most of whom are in great need of vision screening to allow for their future success as students,” said Bellone. “This equipment is going to allow us to accurately screen very young children, children with special needs who were not able to be screened in the past, children with language barriers, -and students in the general population. The Spot Vision Screener will exponentially increase the efficiency and accuracy of vision screenings and expedite the process of coordinating follow up care and services for students who need it. We can use this equipment to detect a myriad of problems related to the eye without even knowing if they have a problem. Southern Eye Bank’s generosity and partnership has been the catalyst to the growth of our reach in vision screenings throughout schools in the Greater New Orleans Area.”

         “Southern Eye Bank is pleased to provide the funding for the vision screeners to The Childhood Family and Learning Foundation,” said William B. Buras, Sr., Executive Director of Southern Eye Bank. “This partnership between our organizations will ensure a dramatic increase in the number of students who will be able to receive vision screenings. Ultimately, Southern Eye Bank’s mission is to preserve and restore sight, and if this helps achieve that goal, then we are doing our job for community.”

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         As the partnership continues to flourish between Southern Eye Bank and The Childhood and Family Learning Foundation, the students are the real beneficiaries. The Foundations’ mission is “connecting more children with the care they need, building nurturing support and services in their schools, creating safe environments for them to live and learn, and enhancing their families and communities in the process.”

         The grant comes at a timely period with the start of school and during the month of August, which is National Child Eye Health and Safety Month.

         The Childhood and Family Learning Foundation is located at 1700 Josephine St, Ste. 200, in New Orleans (on the corner of Josephine St. and Carondelet Street).

         The Foundation has purchased Two Spot Vision Screeners with the grant received from Southern Eye Bank.

         The Welch Allyn Spot VS100 is a handheld binocular vision screener designed to quickly and accurately detect six potential vision issues on subjects ranging from 6 months of age through adulthood. The vision screener screens from a noninvasive distance of one meter away and has a capture time of about 1 second. In seconds, the screener provides a definitive on screen result of ‘Complete Exam Recommended’ or ‘All Measurements in Range’ so the user doesn’t have to interpret any data. From there, the results can be wirelessly printed so the student/parent leaves with a tangible certificate showing their screening result. The vision screener, along with proper follow-up care, can change how a child sees not only a book or blackboard but also how they see their world.

         Southern Eye Bank is a 501(c) 3, nonprofit eye bank that provides eye tissue for transplant, research and education in Louisiana, the United States, and throughout the world.  Founded in 1947, Southern Eye Bank is the third oldest eye bank in the United States and is a fully accredited charter member of the Eye Bank Association of America.  In addition to community service and donor awareness projects, Southern Eye Bank has assisted more than 40,000 people with receiving the Gift of Sight.

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