The New Braunfels chapter of the Lions Club is in the process of administering vision and hearing screenings for New Braunfels ISD, Comal ISD and private school students this fall.
The Lions Club is testing prekindergarten through seventh-grade students and is expected to surpass last year’s screening total of 7,000 students, according to an NBISD news release.
“If the [school] nurse was responsible for screening the students by herself, it would take until December,” NBISD Health Services Coordinator Karen Schwind said. “As a result of the assistance by the Lions Clubs, referrals can be completed early in the school year ,and any issues can be corrected.”
Vision and hearing screenings are required by the Texas Department of State Health Services for students in prekindergarten, first grade, third grade, fifth grade and seventh grade as well as for newly enrolled students, the release said.
"We get feedback from people who were screened when they were children, and they found out that they needed glasses," Lions Club member Ramiro Martinez said. "If it hadn't been for the Lions, this would not have been brought out, and they achieved higher levels of education because their eyesight was corrected."
"When a child is referred to the school nurse and the child's parents cannot afford glasses, they can refer that child to one of the Lions Clubs in town, and we'll pay for the eye examination and glasses for the child,” Lions Club member Robert Allen Miller added.
To administer screenings for prekindergarten students, the Lions Club employs a spot scope screener, which uses a light to measure the eye and detect any defects, according to Lions Club member David Schreier. More information on the New Braunfels Lions Club can be found at http://www.newbraunfelslions.com.
“We as nurses are so appreciative of the Lions Club members that volunteer their time with the screenings,” said Kelsey Boyd, a nurse at Lone Star Early Childhood Center. “Most of the time, it is our students’ first experience with a screening, and the volunteers make them feel comfortable every step of the way," Boyd said. "When I see students who were referred to an eye doctor come back with glasses," she continued, "it is a great feeling knowing their ability to learn has improved. That happens with the help of the Lions Club!”