Lions Clubs provide eye screenings for 12,500 local students

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

EDWARDSBURG — The District 11B2 Lions of Michigan Foundation Project KidSight Team ended the Lions’ year – which began June 30, 2022 and ends July 1, 2023 – with an high number of children screened for the year, mostly in schools as this is a free vision screening service that the Lions offer. 

District 11B2 consists of Lions Clubs located in Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren Counties. According to organizers, the district exceeded any district in the State of Michigan. The total number of children screened was 12,535, with 11,553 passing and 971 referrals.  There were 11 others, which means the screeners tried to get a result on the high-tech SPOT camera and were unable to.  Coordinators, Lions Tanda and David Stiffler, were able to visit area schools to bring in a PKS Team of 12 to 14 Lion Members or Friends of the Lions Club to do the screening.  Four SPOT cameras were used as there were four screeners to take the pictures and other volunteers were part of the team to get in the school to screen and in most cases were done before the lunch hour for the students.

Not all types of vision problems can be identified through vision screenings, and vision screenings are not substitutes for eye examinations by eye care professionals. However, through Project KidSight, we can detect most common childhood vision problems, including Anisometropia, Anisocoria, Astigmatism, Corneal Reflex, Gaze Deviation, Hyperopia, Myopia and Strabismus. If any of these vision abnormalities are detected by the high-tech SPOT camera, then a referral packet is completed and given to the school to get to the parents.  

With Project KidSight Vision Screening, any family that has financial difficulties can contact a Lions Club in their area for assistance in getting the child into an eye doctor for the appointment and glasses.  Lion Clubs make sure if the child needs glasses, they will get them free of charge as the Lion Clubs will make sure to either pay for the glasses or contact the Lansing Lions office for a voucher to get the child in glasses. The Lions’ goal is to help children through early detection and treatment of vision disorders that hinder their ability to succeed in school and develop normally.