Children to Receive Free Eye Exams and Glasses at the Library This Summer

May 10, 2019 | By Baltimore County Public Library

Photo of a boy outside in the sun smiling and wearing glasses

The library has again partnered with Vision To Learn on its mission to bring much-needed eye exams and glasses, free of charge, to children at schools in low-income communities. The nonprofit organization’s mobile unit will stop at several library locations from late June through August with the goal of getting as many schoolkids in glasses as possible by the beginning of the 2019–2020 school year.

How to Sign Up

Parents or guardians who believe their children may need glasses should register their children (up to 18 years old) at the service desk of all 19 Baltimore County Public Library locations or email their completed form to yfe@bcpl.net by Friday, May 24. Applicants will be contacted soon after with a date, time and location of their appointment (locations will be based on the number and location of applications).

How It Works

On exam day, children will board the mobile unit, have their vision read by an optician, then meet with an optometrist who will determine if the child needs glasses. If the child does need glasses, they will then meet again with an optician who will perform the necessary measurements and allow the child to choose from between 80 and 90 available frames. Glasses will be delivered to the library for pickup three to four weeks later.

About Vision to Learn

Vision To Learn was founded in 2012 and currently serves children in 13 states and more than 260 cities. According to the organization’s website, one in five kids will need glasses, but in low-income communities across the country, 95 percent of kids who need glasses—about 2 million in total—do not have them.

“Building and facilitating partnerships with organizations like Vision To Learn has become the new normal for libraries of the 21st century,” said Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller. “Free eye exams and eyeglasses for those in need can positively affect the quality of life for the youngest citizens of Baltimore County as they prepare to begin a new school year.”

“I understand the impact glasses can have on a young person,” said Vision to Learn’s Manager/Regional Director of East Coast Operations Wade Brown. “I didn’t realize that I truly needed glasses until I took my driver’s test,” he continued.  "Providing kids glasses before the beginning of the school year is a great way to make sure kids come to class prepared to learn. My new glasses were a game changer; my new world was brighter and clearer.”

Category: News