Hopkins, Warby Parker, Health Dept. Partner to Give Glasses to Baltimore Students

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mobile-eye-centerFor a lot of students, that moment when the chalkboard requires more squinting to see is a right of passage to glasses. But when students don’t get their eyes checked, the squint turns into a serious learning impediment. That’s where Vision to Learn wants to come in.

The nationwide organization, which was founded by former LA Times publisher Austin Buetner, is coming to Baltimore to help clear up both vision, and the processes that hinder students from eye care.

The program was announced Tuesday, and Ray Lewis showed up to take some of the nerd factor off glasses.

It’s not an isolated problem, as 10,000 kids are estimated to need glasses in Baltimore. After students get screened by the school system and city heath department, they have to get another eye exam to get glasses if they fail. Many students don’t make get there right now, but Vision to Learn runs mobile clinics that will provide the exams. Reading-minded glasses startup Warby Parker, which just opened a store in Harbor East, is providing the glasses. Hopkins is bringing its evaluation capabilities, tracking its effectiveness and whether it helps students learn.

The program is starting at Hampstead Hill Academy, where 160 students are getting glasses this week. It’s slated to expand to 50 schools within the year.

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