“This collaboration has reduced barriers for vision care for many families and supports students’ ability to access the curriculum,” said Lansing School District nurse Susan ‘Sue’ Wheeler.
On April 6, the Lansing School District’s Board of Education meeting included a health and wellness update by Wheeler, who has been a school nurse in the district for more than 15 years.
Wheeler discussed an ongoing partnership to provide eye healthcare for students across the district.
“The program was recognized in the spring by Lt. Gov. Gilchrist who said this is an important resource for providing students with access to glasses to support their academic success,” said Wheeler.
In her presentation, Wheeler announced that 11 schools will participate in the program this year. Wheeler also announced that as more resources are made available to students, the district strives to help all LSD schools through a non-profit organization called Vision to Learn.
“With the help of the nursing staff and each school staff, Vision to Learn will complete nearly 700 eye exams this year. They have already distributed 113 pairs of glasses with many more to come,” said Wheeler.
Vision to Learn is a nationwide non-profit based in California. According to the organization’s 2021-2022 Annual Report, “Vision to Learn has provided children with 328,880 pairs of glasses.”
On every annual report released by the organization, Founder Austin Beutner explains why Vision to Learn was created over 10 years ago.
“When I learned that children were going to school in my community without the glasses they needed… It’s just not acceptable that children would go without something so basic and so necessary,” said Beutner.
Wheeler said students in grades 9-12 are not included in state mandated vision screenings but can still have access to the resources LSD offers through requesting help from nurses and teachers.
The board also shared the recent news that LSD is a new high school called Lansing Tech, which is expected to start welcoming students this fall.
“We’re gonna have fire science and medical, we’re gonna have computer science, culinary arts and building trades. All four incredible career paths, not just jobs,” said Lansing School District Superintendent Ben Shuldiner.
Lansing Tech has been created as a career technical four year high school for students interested in exploring specific careers. Shuldiner said students will not only learn knowledge concerning their desired field of study, but also possibly earn certifications.
“The idea that we’re gonna be doing not only a separate school where kids are gonna come and they’re gonna feel like this is their own – but giving them an opportunity to learn math, learn english, learn science, learn history through the work that they’re choosing to do, that’s really powerful,” said Shuldiner.
To learn more about possibly enrolling in Lansing Tech, the Lansing School District’s website contains information about each school’s possible benefits to different student interests.
To find more information about Vision to Learn, more information can be found on the organization’s website. The non-profit also has available contact information for any questions for both Western and Eastern Michigan.