Free vision center opened in Parkview Elementary School

Aug 18, 2023, 6:00 AM

A room with vision assemssment equipment....

The new vision center inside Parkview Elementary School. (Adam Small/KSL Newsradio)

(Adam Small/KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Parkview Elementary School students and their families just gained access to vision care. A ribbon cutting was held on Thursday for a new vision center, inside the school. 

The new vision center is down the hall from the school’s gym and cafeteria. Many struggling kids and families will now have access to vision care, whether or not they have insurance. 

Jamie Justice, the executive director of Friends for Sight, says anywhere from 15%  to 50% of kids in low-income or under-resourced areas like the west side of Salt Lake City, have vision problems. They often don’t get help because their families don’t have insurance.

And he said vision problems take a huge toll on students learning. 

“We’ve heard from schools that once they put on these glasses the behavior problems go away. They can start learning and performing in school. This is hugely important,” said Justice. 

Dr. Court Wilkins, an optometrist that will work in the clinic, said being able to help children “means the world.”

“I see the kids get labeled in their class that they can’t learn [or] they’re not smart … but we can help fix it,” said Wilkins. 

State House Minority Leader Angela Romero said the vision center will help the community.

“Here on the west side, we get prisons, we get the inland port, but this is something that’s here specifically for the community. Specifically … to help them.” 

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Free vision center opened in Parkview Elementary School