Proper vision is crucial to a child’s success in school, but not all students have access to the critical vision care they need. According to the Vision and Health Organization, uninsured children are three times as likely to go without eyeglasses when needed.

Kids Vision for Life St. Louis (KVFL) provides local students with no cost vision services including vision screenings, exams, and prescription glasses as a way to eliminate poor vision as a barrier to learning. KVFL services over 150 elementary and middle schools in the St. Louis city and county, but wanted to provide a way for all students to have access to quality vision care.

KVFL partnered with Crown Vision Center to create an in-store program for students in the St. Louis area. Qualified children ages 5-20 can receive eye exams and eyeglasses at any Crown Vision Center location as an extension of the Kids Vision for Life program. This in-store program is a valuable resource for students who do not attend a KVFL serviced school or may have missed their school’s exam day to still receive the vision treatments they need.

Lena Marr is the store manager at the Lindell Crown Vision Center location. Marr has volunteered her time assisting with vision screenings at local KVFL schools and is a huge advocate of the program, having watched it grow from the beginning. Her store location experiences high volumes of KVFL traffic and have at least three visits or phone calls a day concerning the in-store program.

Marr has seen firsthand how crucial the in-store program can be for parents. One of her favorite moments occurred when a mother came into her store to price out glasses for her son. When the store went to look up his insurance information, they noticed his Medicaid was no longer active. The mother was very upset and didn’t know how she was going to be able to afford new glasses. “We told her about the KVFL program and that her son would be able to get a free exam and glasses. The mother was very grateful and started to cry and kept giving us hugs because she could not believe that we were able to do this for her and her son.”

More information on the in-store program with Crown Vision Center can be found HERE.