Clippers, Vision To Learn to provide free eyeglasses for students

Clippers, Vision To Learn to provide free eyeglasses for students

Above, L.A. Clippers star Blake Griffin poses with Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, team owner Steve Ballmer, Flournoy Elementary fifth-grader Daniel Santos and School Board President Mónica García.

Celebrating the new partnership are, from left, School Board President Monica Garcia, Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, Local District South Superintendent Christopher Downing and Vision To Learn CEO Austin Beutner.

L.A. Unified students who have to hold their textbook in front of their face or squint to see the whiteboard at the front of the classroom will soon get some help, thanks to a new partnership announced Tuesday.

The L.A. Clippers Foundation and Clippers forward Blake Griffin have joined with the non-profit Vision To Learn to provide free eye exams and eyeglasses to any District youngster who needs them. Officials estimate this may impact as many as 10 percent of L.A. Unified students.

“The sheer number of kids we’ll reach with this program, it’s unbelievable,” Griffin said at a news conference at Flournoy Elementary School in South Los Angeles. “To be able to take care of that many kids and have an impact that widespread is a lot of fun for us, and it’s meaningful.”

Improving a student’s vision profoundly benefits educational and life outcomes. In a study of Vision To Learn’s program by UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital, researchers found that providing glasses boosts a student’s math and reading grades and improves the learning environment for the entire classroom and school. Correcting a student’s vision also leads to better behavior in class, better relationships with family members and classmates and a better approach to life as a whole.

“We are solving the vision problem for the L.A. Unified School District, because it is the L.A. Clippers Foundation’s goal to make a positive difference for children in Los Angeles. This is what we do, and there is no better way to do it than by working with a strong, proven community leader like Vision To Learn to impact children on a granular, day-to-day level in order to change the scope of their entire lives,” said Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

According to Vision To Learn, 95 percent of first-graders who need glasses do not have them – in part, because their families are low-income and have difficulty accessing affordable vision care. Glasses are a critical educational tool since 80 percent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years is visual.

This is the third year the Clippers have supported Vision To Learn, which previously provided vision services to more than 90,000 students in the Inglewood and Long Beach Unified School Districts.

“With the support of Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers Foundation, L.A. Unified will become the largest school district in the nation to provide glasses for every child who needs them, free of charge,” said Austin Beutner, who founded Vision To Learn and serves as its chairman. “Providing glasses to students helps them succeed in school and in life.”

Over the next two years, eye exams will be administered to students at all L.A. Unified schools, beginning with Flournoy Elementary. The exams will feature Clippers- and Blake Griffin-branded mobile clinics.

“L.A. Unified is proud to work with the L.A. Clippers Foundation and Vision To Learn to give all of our students access to comprehensive screenings and eye glasses and to help them reach their fullest potential,” said School Board President Mónica García.

Students from Flournoy Elementary are the first to benefit from the partnership with the Clippers and Vision To Learn.

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LAUSD Shines

CSTA and Code.org announce the 2017 Champions for Computer Science – Medium magazine

How L.A. Unified Cultivates Districtwide Digital Citizenship – Common Sense Education

Around the world, and earning all A’s – The Newport (R.I.) Daily News

LAUSD, IBU and DAS Collaborate to Create the New Merchant Mariner Apprenticeship Program – Apprenticeship/California Department of Industrial Relations

Opinion: Students accepted through preferred gender pronouns – Los Angeles Times Insider

These 10 L.A. high schools are the best at getting their graduates to college – Los Angeles Times

Now San Pedro Schools Came Through for Texas Hurricane Victims – Daily Breeze

LAUSD Making a Comeback with Instructional Technology – Converge Magazine

Dr. Frances Gipson honored as Top 30 Award recipient – Converge Magazine

Refusing to Leave Anyone Behind, Teacher Unites Kids of All Abilities for Special Education Event – Babble.com

New EdD in Educational Leadership graduate Michelle King named National Superintendent of the Year – USC Rossier School of Education

Pin Up, Don’t Shut Up – Public High School Art for the Scapegoats of Humanity – Random Lengths Magazine


East Bay Softball Inks Catcher Desiree Jimmy – Cal State East Bay Pioneers Athletics


California Highway Patrol flips pancakes and scrambles eggs for Dorsey High School Law Magnet Students – Los Angeles Sentinel


California Teacher of the Year from North Hills to throw first pitch at Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles Daily News


Cleveland High band program marches on after years with no teacher, little money – Los Angeles Daily News


Valley View Elementary turns 100, as will dozens of other LAUSD schools in the next five years  – LASchoolReport


10 Dedicated and Deserving Social Workers includes L.A. Unified’s Verónica Obregón – Social Work Today


‘Cool Kid’ Camille Ng spreads warmth to kids in need – KABC-7


LAUSD Schools get new gyms through UCLA Health’s ‘Sound Body Sound Mind’ program – KABC-7


LAPD officers spread holiday cheer at Van Nuys elementary school – Los Angeles Daily News


Burrowing Owl delights students, staff at urban school – SoCalWild.com


Essay: The Translated Life, From Immigrant to Valedictorian. – NBC News


Dorsey students complete College Board pilot class. – L.A. Sentinel


Girls Academic Leadership Academy: A unique opportunity.– Jewish Journal


Modern Trades: The rise of continuing tech education. – KPCC


West Valley Occupational Center celebrates 50 years. – Los Angeles Daily News


Linked Learning the focus of innovative high school. – Education Writers of America


How high-schoolers channel the drama of middle school experience into dramatic performance. – KPCC


Night at the museum? Try a week. These fourth-graders did and it changed their world. – KPCC


Music, arts programs at LA schools increasing after years of decline. – Los Angeles Daily News


Coeur d’Alene Elementary: One school’s journey towards instructional excellence. – Cotsen Foundation


Video: Venice High School celebrates top seniors. Yo Venice


Student identity through the arts. Huffington Post


Op-Ed: Supt. Michelle King on frog dissections, STEM and the future of charters in LAUSD. Los Angeles Times


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