Maryville Lions Club performs free vision screening for young children in Blount County.
Our local club is one of the few chapters in the area that still perform (free of charge) the majority of eye screenings (Operation KidSight) in our local area. We offer screenings to all daycares, preschools, home schools, churches and head starts in the Blount county area, as well as to the Maryville City, Alcoa and Blount County School systems.
After acquiring parental consent, we go on location to screen children, using the PlusOptix vision screening device (as shown in the picture). We confidentially record these results which are reviewed by an eye care professional. Referrals are then sent directly to households when follow-up is recommended.
Q: What ages do you screen?
A: Generally we screen children ages 1 – up to age 6 as part of our state-wide Operation KidSight program. But more recently we have been working with the school systems and screening 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade students.
Q: How is your screening different than what the school nurse does?
A: Most school nurses use an eye chart to gauge how well a child can see in general. We use special equipment to detect vision disorders (such as amblyopia) that can lead to blindness. These results for children 1-6 are processed through our KidSight program and TN Lions Outreach who work in coordination with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. The older children are referred to the individual school nurses for further testing or referrals to an eye Dr.
Q: Can you screen my child if he doesn’t go to any
daycare or preschool?
A: Yes! Contact us and we’ll let you know where/when.
Q: How does a daycare schedule a screening?
A: We reach out to any facility that cares for children up to age 6, but sometimes new facilities pop up under our radar (and once in a while our requests go unanswered). If you are a childcare director, let us know you would like to schedule a screening. If you are a parent, ask the coordinator of your child’s daycare to reach out to us. If that isn’t possible, contact us directly and we will let you know where/when you can take your child.
Q: What can I do if my child was absent when you screened his/her daycare?
A: Contact us and we’ll let you know where/when. We don’t want to miss any child!
Q: Do you have a list of sites where you regularly screen?
A: All of our scheduled screenings appear on our club calendar.
We also assist in state-required vision acuity testing in schools.
Our local club volunteers also assist local schools in performing state-required visual acuity testing for 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th grade students. This testing also includes color blindness testing for all entering kindergarten students. In addition to whatever charts or testing the schools ask us to help with we utilize the above mentioned PlusOptix vision screening device and report results to the schools to pass on referrals as they deem appropriate.
The intention of all of our daycare and school vision screenings is to detect eye problems early on so they can be addressed sooner than later and hopefully save the vision of that child.
Maryville Lions Club also provide free eyeglasses, advocate for no cost eye surgery when needed, and provide many other services locally and abroad.