By Amanda Tonoli
Youngstown City Schools students will be getting new, free glasses thanks to a collaboration with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, the school district and several community organizations.
Students who need eye exams are seeing doctors from Ageless Eyecare at their schools this week and selecting frames for their eyeglasses at no cost to the students or their families.
Schools Superintendent Joe Meranto said the event is just another example of what Youngstown can do with community collaborations.
“[The students] get what they need to not only do better in school, but do better in life,” he said.
The event wasn’t just beneficial for students, but others as well.
Amy Weaver, associate professor of nursing at Youngstown State University, said more than 90 nursing students helped give eye exams as a clinical-type experience.
“It’s kind of their first exposure to children in using a skill they already know,” Weaver said. “They are able to utilize their skills thanks to this opportunity, and we are so thankful for this partnership, which allows us to show a good example to our students for their experience.”
In addition, Vallourec Star had about 60 volunteers helping out with eye exams.
Other entities involved in the effort to promote good vision for all were Essilor Vision Foundation, Classic Optical, Ageless Eyecare, Youngstown Health Department, Youngstown Lions Club, DentaQuest, Sight for All United, Modern Optical International and Mercy Health Foundation.
Bob Hannon, United Way president, said if not for the giving of several community partners, students’ glasses might not have been possible.
“We will never accomplish what we want to do alone,” he said. “Together is how we make the most impact.”
No matter how many entities or people are involved, the goal is simple, said Dawn Friedkin, Classic Optical president.
“Our goal is to give them the best gifts we can – sight and vision,” she said.