Vieau School students receive free eye exams, glasses from Wisconsin Vision as part of MPS Children’s Week

MILWAUKEE – Dozens of Milwaukee Public Schools students will get free eye exams Thursday and, if needed, eyeglasses, as part of an ongoing free vision care program provided by Wisconsin Vision, the state’s largest independently-owned optical company.

The event at MPS’ Vieau School, part of the Children’s Campaign organized by the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, is set to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday and continue until 1 p.m.

Vieau is the latest school to benefit from the Wisconsin Vision program started in spring 2011. Wisconsin Vision has previously provided free exams and eyeglasses to more than 100 MPS students in need from Clarke Street and Gwen T. Jackson schools.

An MPS student receives an eye exam courtesy of Wisconsin Vision at a previous event

An MPS student receives an eye exam courtesy of Wisconsin Vision at a previous event

“We welcome the chance to partner with MTEA and MPS during Children’s Week and add the Vieau School to our program,” said Darren Horndasch, President and CEO of Wisconsin Vision. “It’s gratifying to know our company is making a difference in these young people’s lives and education.”

Since getting their new glasses, students have reported having an easier time reading classroom smartboards, Clarke Street principal Erik Conner said. Students noted fewer headaches and some parents said they “didn’t even know their child had any eye issues” until the exams, he added.

“It sounds so simple, but for some of our students, it’s anything but,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “Strong vision is absolutely essential to a strong education. We’re so grateful that Wisconsin Vision is stepping up once again to fill a critical need for dozens of our students. And we’re thankful that the MTEA is helping to organize so many positive events for our children.”

At Vieau, a team of two optometrists and six to eight opticians will provide visual acuity exams and prescriptions for more than 50 students with previously-identified vision issues. Roughly 95% of the students at Vieau come from families with incomes low enough to qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch.

Vieau is located near the site of a new Wisconsin Vision store set to open later this year. Wisconsin Vision will return to the school Thursday, May 3 to give the children their new eyeglasses.

Reporters are invited to attend this Thursday’s event at Vieau, 823 S. 4th Street, Milwaukee 53204. Interested media should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at 414.475.8675.