Flint’s children will start to see things more clearly with support from one of the city’s native sons.
Vision To Learn serves low-income youth in about 250 cities and 13 states by assisting them with vision screenings and glasses, free of charge.
“Kids in Flint still need our support more than ever and we’re committed to looking out for their future,” Gores says. “We are proud to bring Vision To Learn into this community to give children the gift of sight, a tool with lasting impact that will make a difference in their lives for years to come.”
A reported 1,000 Flint Community Schools (FCS) students go to class daily, struggling without the assistance of eyeglasses. The FlintNOW and Vision To Learn initiative is designed to provide vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to every FCS student in need.
Gores and the Detroit Pistons Foundation first joined Vision To Learn’s mission in 2016, bringing programs to Detroit. About 50 students at Flint’s Brownell K-2 STEM Academy have received new glasses. More Flint youth will receive glasses throughout the summer and the next school year.
“We provide kids with the glasses they need to succeed in school and in life,” says Austin Beutner, Vision To Learn founder. “Two million kids across the country lack the glasses they need, and we’ll keep working to make sure they get the help they deserve.”
Students who have received glasses and support from Vision To Learn experienced improved grades, according to research by Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.
Additional FlintNOW partnerships include a $2 million pledge from Gores and Consumers Energy to start the Flint Promise scholarship program.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who heads the Pediatric Public Health Initiative at Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital, endorses the Vision To Learn and FlintNOW effort as an additional lift to local students.
“This is exactly the kind of support we need to flip the script and make sure our kids have a bright future,” Hanna-Attisha says. “Thank you to Tom, FlintNOW and Vision To Learn for continuing to invest in our children and our community.”