Beginning next year Brooklyn elementary school students who qualify will be able to receive eye exams and glasses for free. The program is part of the United Federation of Teachers’ Community Schools Initiative whose goal is to provide health and social services directly to students in their schools.
The first eye clinic will open in PS 188 on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. It will be a brand-new, $350,000 facility which will be run by the non-profit organization OneSight. Another clinic which they will also run is in the planning stages and will open in PS 18 in the Bronx.
“This is excellent. It’s going to make a world of difference in my daughter” said Coney Island mom Anita Mieles, whose fourth-grade daughter wears glasses.
Mieles bought eyeglasses for her daughter last year, but she says the girl already needs a new pair. She is going to wait until the new school-based eye clinic is up and running to get the new glasses.
“First you have to pay the co-payments then you have to pay for the lenses” said Mieles. “Everything gets so expensive.”
Students from nearby schools can also have their eyes checked at PS 188, and if they qualify, receive glasses for free.