St. John students, who wouldn’t otherwise get much-needed glasses, can benefit from a recent $2,500 Kids First! grant. The non-profit organization, in partnership with Dr. Craig Friedenberg of the St. Thomas-based Island Eye Care, will assist families in learning if their children need glasses after an eye exam.
“Children face enough challenges mastering the skills necessary for school and beyond. That task becomes far more difficult when the student is burdened by problems with eyesight. This program makes it possible for every child on St. John to enter school with the eyesight necessary for success,” Kids First! President Bruce Claflin said.
The process to better vision starts with routine free eye exams by Friedenberg at St. John schools and at the Health Department’s Morris deCastro clinic. If eye glasses are required, and the parents are unable to pay, Friedenberg will use this grant to offset some or all of the costs.
“He quietly uses his judgment,” Claflin said.
If your children haven’t received an eye exam, or you need help purchasing glasses, call Friedenberg at 779-2019.
Kids First! is a Virgin Islands-based non-profit organization that supports quality education on St. John. It focuses on early learning initiatives from birth to age 5, as well as the initial years of formal schooling. In operation for five years, Kids First! has provided over $135,000 of grants to island schools and programs. To learn more about Kids First! go to www.kidsfirststj.org.