ONE thousand more Victorian students can now see more clearly and concentrate better at school, thanks to the state government’s free Glasses for Kids program.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing recently announced that 176 students across West Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley were part of the 1000 Victorian students to receive a free pair of glasses after having their vision tested at school.
Children with undiagnosed vision problems often find it hard to concentrate at school, which presents challenges when it comes to actively engaging in their learning – but too many Victorian families avoid eye testing due to the prohibitive cost of glasses.
The Victorian-first program, which is managed and delivered by State Schools’ Relief, has helped more than 22,000 Prep to Year 3 students at 395 schools across Victoria have their eyes screened and, if needed, receive free glasses. 1141 students across the West Gippsland and Latrobe Valley areas received tests as part of this program.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $1.6 million to deliver the second round of the Glasses for Kids program – supporting students with undiagnosed vision impairments, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at school and beyond.
This builds on the $800,000 the state government has already provided to this initiative since coming to government, ensuring a child’s education isn’t disadvantaged by easily treated issues like vision impairment.
The second phase of the program means the program will visit an extra 340 schools – testing around 40,000 more Prep to Grade 3 students.
Ms Shing said the program would help students immensely.
“It’s fantastic to see students across Gippsland having the opportunity to see more clearly thanks to Glasses for Kids,” she said.
“This vital program supports the health and wellbeing of hundreds of kids in regional areas,
and I’m proud that this government will continue to support the important work that it achieves.”