As part of an initiative between New England College of Optometry (NECO) and the Boston Public Schools (BPS), faculty and students assist in vision screenings for Boston’s youngest students (ages 3 – 6). As a clinical affiliate of the College, New England Eye helps to provide services to the community through its mobile clinic.
To help educate families about the importance of eye care and provide eye screenings, New England Eye staff and NECO faculty and students participate in the Countdown to Kindergarten program, an annual series of events sponsored by the Boston Public Schools (BPS) for school children entering kindergarten. Every child entering BPS kindergarten for the first time is eligible to attend a Countdown to Kindergarten event around the city with a parent or guardian. BPS has been sponsoring these events since mid-August around Boston neighborhoods at the public libraries.
This year, the team attended two of the Countdown to Kindergarten programs and were able to provide vision screenings to over 150 children. Thirty-five students were screened on August 11, 2015 at the Hyde Park Library event and 131 students were screened at the flagship Countdown to Kindergarten event at the Boston Children’s Museum on August 31, 2015. Drs. Bruce Moore, Gary Chu, and Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, were joined at the Boston Children’s Museum event NEE staff Ina Carducci, Paulette Tattersall and Kellie Cuadrado, NECO resident Jameel Kanji and several NECO students.
Dr. Gary Chu, Vice President of Community Collaborations at New England Eye, explains,
This is all part of our commitment to give back to the community, to emphasize importance of vision in school age children and to demonstrate to our students the necessity of being involved in community.