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Essilor Vision Foundation To Host Kids Vision Fest At Dallas Central Library On Tuesday, January 19

By Essilor News

01/07/2010

DALLAS, Tex. (January 7, 2010) – In an effort to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences, Essilor Vision Foundation and the Kids Vision for Life Coalition will host Kids Vision Fest on Tues., Jan.

19, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (1515 Young St., Dallas, 75201). Note: Jan. 19 is a school holiday for Dallas and Irving school districts.

Free and open to the general public, Kids Vision Fest will provide free vision screenings to all children ages 4 to 12. Free eye exams and new glasses – featuring the latest styles in eyeglass frames provided by Nouveau Eyewear – will be offered to children who currently cannot afford vision care and do not qualify for other programs such as Medicaid. Also, optometrists and an ophthalmologist who accept Medicaid and CHIP will be available as well. Essilor Vision Foundation expects to conduct eye exams and provide glasses free of charge to approximately 500 children at Kids Vision Fest.

In addition to vision care, Kids Vision Fest will offer an array of activities, games, arts and crafts, and entertainment. The line-up includes story-time book readings throughout the day by authors Kristine Kahanek and Rhonda Fischer, artist/writer Karen Blessen, storyteller Brent Simpson, illustrator Don Tate and artist Lamberto Alverez. Other highlights include visits from the “Eyeball Scientist,” Mavs Man and Sparky the Firedog; musical performances by Garland ISD’s Brandenburg Middle School band; clown visits; Wii games; a variety of creative arts activities; and a “Playing It Safe” presentation by the Ferguson Road Initiative. The various areas – “I See,” “I Read,” “I Play” and “I Will Be” – will help children to connect the dots between good vision and success in school and life.

The surprising reality is that one in four American children has an uncorrected vision problem – and the number can climb much higher in inner-city communities – yet research suggests many of those children are not wearing glasses today. If these vision problems are not addressed, research shows that children may face lifelong struggles with literacy, low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty and crime. (In fact, Essilor Vision Foundation found that 78% of the incarcerated youth in two of the Dallas County Juvenile Justice facilites had at least one vision problem).

“It’s all about connecting the dots. Good vision is so crucial – a child must be able to see to learn. If vision problems aren’t corrected at a young age, children fall behind and may never catch up,” said Ed Fjordbak, president and CEO of the Essilor Vision Foundation. “That’s when they tend to drop out of school or land in the juvenile justice system.”

Founded in 2007, Essilor Vision Foundation is a public charity established by Dallas-based Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences.  Specifically, the Foundation provides free eye exams and new prescription eyewear through in-school and partnership programs to children who cannot get them otherwise. It also educates parents, teachers, caregivers, and community leaders to be aware of the implications of poor vision and watch for signs of vision problems in children.

Essilor Vision Foundation is supported by the Kids Vision for Life Coalition, which is believed to be the first-ever community-wide effort to identify children’s vision care as a key tool in improving literacy skills. The Coalition Advisory Board is comprised of government and community leaders including U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa.

The Kids Vision for Life Coalition partners include American Foundation for the Blind; Boys & Girls Clubs; Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc.; The Catholic Foundation; Central Dallas Ministries; ChildCareGroup; Circle of Support; Communities in Schools Dallas Region; Dallas County Juvenile Department; Dallas ISD; Dallas Public Library; Dallas Regional Chamber; DFW AHEC; Earning by Learning; Education is Freedom; Essilor Vision Foundation; Ferguson Road Initiative; H.I.S. BridgeBuilders; Happy Hill Farm; Lions Sight and Tissue Foundation; Low Vision Clinic; North Dallas Shared Ministries; North Texas Food Bank; Northern Texas PGA; OneSight; Parkland; Prevent Blindness; Salesmanship Club; The Center for Community Health at UNT Health Science Center; The Foundation
for Community Empowerment; The Legacy Center for Public Policy; United Way; Vision Regeneration; Volunteer Center of North Texas; and YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas.

For more information about Kids Vision Fest, please go to  www.essilorvision.org or call 214-996-1280.

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ABOUT THE ESSILOR VISION FOUNDATION

Essilor Vision Foundation is a public charity established by Dallas-based Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States.  The foundation’s mission is to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences.

We strive to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly.  Our programs focus on improving the quality of school vision screenings so fewer children slip through the cracks, providing eye exams and eyeglasses free of charge to children who would not get them otherwise, and educating parents and communities about the importance of children’s vision care and the role it plays in literacy, society, and the economy.

ABOUT ESSILOR OF AMERICA, INC.

Essilor, founder of Essilor Vision Foundation, is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, DEFINITY®, Thin&Lite®, and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. Essilor is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

Varilux, Crizal, and DEFINITY are registered trademarks of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc

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