By Erin Beck
The Shinnston Lions Club offered its annual eye screenings to students in Shinnston at two events in December, according to Lions Club President Dave Minor.
According to the Lions Club International website, Helen Keller inspired the group to advocate for the blind and those with other visual impairments in 1925.
The Shinnston Lions Club has brought that focus to fruition in multiple ways, including through eye screenings for kids and the recycling of eyeglasses.
On Dec. 1, the Shinnston Lions Club gave sight screenings to the sixth graders at Lincoln Middle school. The club tested 120 students and referred 18 students to see an optometrist.
Members use an electronic device that quickly scans for potential vision problems, then an optometrist can do further testing to confirm.
On Dec.15, the club screened around 80 students at Big Elm elementary. They referred about eight for further check-ups.
“It’s a great day for the club to interact with the school nurses and the students,” Minor said. “It’s a quick test to see if a child might need glasses to help them in their studies. We do these tests every year in Shinnston and other Lion Clubs do the other schools in the county.”
County school nurse Jody Sperry provided supervision, he said.
Early detection is important because kids with vision problems must work harder to learn and participate in other activities, and may experience eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, the American Optometric Association states.