SAN JOSÉ - The Sharks Foundation announced today that through a $100,000 commitment, it will sponsor Vision to Learn's mobile clinic in Santa Clara County helping nearly 7,000 students receive free eye exams and eye glasses over the next two school years. The Sharks-themed mobile clinic was on display at Hubbard Media Arts Academy this afternoon, as S.J. Sharkie helped 25 students from kindergarten through seventh grade try on brand new glasses provided by Vision To Learn.
"We're thrilled that during our focus on Healthy Living this month we can support students having a better experience at school and in sports, through healthy vision," said Heather Hooper, Sharks Foundation Director. "When kids see Sharks mascot S.J. Sharkie on the Vision To Learn mobile clinic, we know it will encourage them to have a sense of confidence and pride in wearing their glasses."
Optometrists will work out of the mobile clinic that travels to a different school site every day. Students are examined on the bus and, if glasses are prescribed, they choose their frames from a wide selection of colors and sizes. The glasses are then delivered to the kids at school within three weeks. All of Vision To Learn's services - from the exam to the glasses - are provided free of charge to the child.
Vision To Learn Founder Austin Beutner joined representatives from the Sharks Foundation and Alum Rock Union Elementary School District to kick-off its fourth year of serving students in Santa Clara County and to celebrate its services during the new school year.
"Vision To Learn gives kids the glasses they need to succeed in school, and in life," said Beutner. "We are pleased to be expanding our service in Santa Clara County, allowing us to help many additional kids."
During the 2017-18 school year alone, the Sharks Foundation and Vision To Learn's partnership will help more than 3,000 students in Santa Clara County get glasses, including over 500 in Alum Rock Union Elementary School District.
"The district and our school nurses are excited to partner with Vision To Learn to help students achieve in the classroom and beyond," said Hilaria Bauer, Alum Rock Union Elementary School District Superintendent. "Because so much of early learning is visual, our nurses made sure every kid who wanted a screening could get one."
This is the second collaboration between the Sharks Foundation and Vision to Learn to assist Santa Clara County students in need. Last season the two organizations, along with Sharks forwards Chris Tierney and Joel Ward, visited Selma Olinder Elementary of the San Jose Unified School District to deliver new glasses to nearly 50 students in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. During the 2016-17 school year, the Foundation helped 1,000 students in Santa Clara County, including 600 in the San Jose Unified School District, get glasses.