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Lions get lauded for screening

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Local Lions Club volunteers spent a second-consecutive year conducting eye screenings of students in Rainy River District School Board schools.

The Rainy River District School Board appreciates the time and effort put forth by members of the Emo and District Lions Club, the Fort Frances Lions Club, the Voyageur Lions Club, the Rainy River-Baudette Border Lions Club, and the Atikokan Lions Club to help aid in the success and well-being of students.

“Good vision is an important part of well-being,” said Superintendent of Education Andrew Harris.

“Eighty percent of classroom learning is done through the eyes,” he noted.

“Poor vision can impact a child's self-esteem, school success, and social development.”

Lions Club International is a strong supporter of eye health programs and, as such, the Lions Foundation of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario purchased the Spot Vision Screener for early detection and referral.

The scanner is a hand-held, portable device designed to help users quickly and easily detect vision issues on patients from six months of age through adulthood.

“These screenings not only involve a physical benefit to the kids but also shows them the benefit of community service,” said Joanne Ogden, president of the Emo and District Lions Club.

With a regional referral rate of 18.9 percent, the Lions clubs also have assisted kids and parents who cannot afford glasses to purchase them so their kids do not go without.

The Northwestern Health Unit recommends children have a comprehensive eye examination at six months of age and then annually as recommended by an optometrist.

Annual eye exams are covered by provincial health insurance (OHIP) until age 19.

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