March 30, 2017
Atlanta Lions were busy this morning vision screening preschool children at the Beacon of Hope Renaissance Learning Center in the Old Fourth Ward. Lions Gary Martin, Jotham Reubel, Carolyn Pace and Wes Gifford screened 102 children from two to six years old using three PlusOptix screening devices. Of the 102 children screened 24 (or 23.5%) will require a full eye examination by a professional eye care specialist. This screening is the fourth year the Atlanta Lions Club have provided vision screening services for the BOH preschool. Over the four years of screening at BOH the club has found a significantly higher than normal referral rate for children requiring a full eye examination. Typically, national referral rates for preschool age children range between 8-11%. For BOH screenings the referral rates have been between 20-25%. Like many of the other low income urban schools where the Atlanta Lions screen the club is finding a disproportionate number of children who are requiring eye health services. In the case of BOH almost all of the children screened were African American and Hispanic descent. The Atlanta Lions Club believes eye health is a major issue for certain low income preschool and school age children within the City of Atlanta. Children who will be referred to an eye care specialist by the BOH preschool may qualify to receive a voucher for a free eye examination and eyeglasses under the VSP Sight for Students voucher program.