From helping kids see better in the classroom to furthering their education beyond high school, the Oxford Lions Club is working hard to ensure local students don’t fall behind.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, the club will offer free vision screenings for young people ages 1-18 at the Oxford Public Library (530 Pontiac Rd.) from 10 a.m. until noon.
Using an automated photoscreening device, Lions Club members will be screening for six conditions – anisometropia, astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), anomalous corneal reflexes and anisocoria.
“It’s pretty easy to operate (the device),” said Lions Club President Ron Wood.
Each screening doesn’t take very long.
“If we can keep the child’s head still, it’s pretty quick. It’s less than a minute,” Wood said. “Sometimes we’ll get a reading in as little as three or four seconds and sometimes it might take 30 seconds.”
When it’s done, the device provides a printout.
“We give the results to the parents,” Wood said. “We don’t keep a copy.”
If there are any issues with the child’s eyesight, Wood said, “We suggest that they go see an ophthalmologist because we’re not experts on vision.”
Nearly 4 million of the kids screened nationwide as part of the Lions KidSight USA vision screening program will be referred for a follow-up exam by an eye-care professional, according to the Lions Clubs International website.
No appointment is necessary for a free screening. Parents just need to sign a release form. “Some parents bring in two or three kids and we screen them all,” Wood said.
The Lions Club is also offering two $1,000 scholarships.
Applicants must live in the Oxford school district and be in the 12th grade at either a public or private school. Homeschooled students are also welcome to apply.
Applications are available at the Oxford High School counseling office (745 N. Oxford Rd.) and at the Oxford Public Library.
The deadline for submitting applications at OHS is March 29. Applications that are mailed must be postmarked by March 31. The mailing address is Oxford Lions Club, 5365 Sherwood Rd., Oxford, MI 48371.
Previously, the scholarship amount was $500 per student, but the club decided to double it.
“We’ve been very successful with our fund-raising campaigns recently, more so than in years past,” Wood said. “We don’t want to just hold on to the money and keep building it. We want to invest it back into the community.”