PINE BELT (WDAM) - A group of community leaders and area educators gathered for a luncheon at William Carey University on Thursday. The luncheon was held by the Mississippi Vision Foundation.
"We are raising awareness of the importance of children's vision and the critical link to education," said Megan Sumrall Lott, Vice President of Mississippi Vision Foundation. "Today at our luncheon, we've invited leaders from around the Pine Belt community, as well as educators. We did a pilot study a few years ago in Mississippi with third-graders who failed their reading test, and what we saw was a vast majority of the students needed some type of vision exam, glasses or vision therapy. "
According to Lott, more than 80 percent of learning comes through the visual system, and one in four children in the classroom of undiagnosed problems with their vision.
Those undetected problems can lead to a lifetime of difficulties.
"We are showing them the link between vision and education," said Lott. "We are doing a pilot program in Forrest and Lamar County to educate the community on resources that will be available to these children."
Any child that failed their third grade test were able to receive an eye exam and glasses, if needed, at no cost.
To find an area optometrist participating in this program, you can check out the Mississippi Vision Foundation website at www.msvisionfoundation.org.