According to the American Optometric Association, 80 percent of classroom learning is visual. This includes reading, writing and chalkboard exercises. Yet it has been estimated nearly one in every seven kindergarten through fifth graders in California does not have the glasses they need to learn. That means nearly one quarter million of California's young students, including 100,000 here in Los Angeles, County are struggling in the classroom due to untreated vision problems.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation has partnered with Vision To Learn, a non-profit organization which provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to elementary school students in low-income communities throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
Vision To Learn was created in 2012 by the Beutner Family Foundation. Nearly every day, Vision To Learn's trained opticians and optometrists drive mobile eye clinics directly to low-income schools and communities to offer students free eye exams. Within three weeks, the organization returns to deliver free prescription glasses to those in need.
On May 13, 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Vision To Learn kicked off the program with a visit to Dorris Place Elementary School where Dodger Catcher A.J. Ellis and Dodger Pitcher Brandon League handed out new eyeglasses to students at their school.
Vision To Learn and the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated an important milestone - over 23,000 children have received free eye exams in the first two years of operation in Los Angeles.
UCLA research shows that Vision To Learn has a direct impact on education outcomes for children supported by the program and improves the learning environment for the entire classroom and school, ultimately making teachers and students more effective. Since it started just two short years ago, Vision To Learn has visited over 823 schools, helped screen over 150,000 kids in Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento, completed over 35,000 comprehensive eye exams and delivered 30,000 youth with free prescription glasses. Dodger Players Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner are featured on the mobile Eye exam vehicles that serve the Los Angeles community.