SARTELL (WJON News) -- Kids in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District will soon be getting a free vision screening. The school district has teamed up with the Sartell Lion's Club to bring its Sight For Kids (SFK) program to the school.

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For three days in March kids kindergarten through fifth grade will get their vision checked. Riverview Intermediate School Principal Zach Dingmann. who is also a Lion's Club member, says when the district Lion's Club approached the local club about the program he thought it was a great thing to bring to the school. He says the test is pretty simple and it can check for a number of issues:

"There's a device, just like a hand-held device, that takes roughly about three or four seconds and it does a quick screening and reading of the eye, and it looks for, like I said, near sighted, far sighted, it can find like blurry vision if a student has that, you know, eye misalignment, lazy eye, just a whole bunch of things."

He says kids often don't know they are having vision problems so the screening will be a huge benefit:

"You don't know that you can't see twenty-twenty or that the board is a little blurry or whatever until you go in and you get some glasses or contacts or whatever it is and then you can see twenty-twenty right so yeah this should be you know, hopefully, a huge game changer for some students as well too, just so that they can see better."

Dingmann says they have 6 people trained to provide the tests and there is no cost to the school because the Lion's Club provides all the equipment and educational materials. He says they will screen over 1,600 students over the three days and the tests are completely confidential.

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON

If the screening detects a problem with a student their parents will get a letter describing the issue and be referred to an eye care professional. Lion's Club has been providing vision screenings through the Sight For Kids program since 2002 and helps screen over 3 million kids annually.


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