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Resources for Professionals and Programs

Eyes That Thrive in School

About the Program

Eyes That Thrive is a program to support school based care of prescribed vision treatment plans following the diagnosis of a vision condition. Treatment plans may include eyeglasses, eye patches, medication or monitoring.

Implementation of the Eyes that Thrive in School/Early Education Programs requires collaboration and commitment between families, eye doctors (optometrists and ophthalmologists), school nurses/health managers, educators and primary care providers.

Program Goal

To contribute to a child’s growth, development, education and lifelong visual health by facilitating adherence to prescribed vision treatment plans through school based advocacy, communication and action.

The optimal time to treat vision conditions, including amblyopia, conditions leading to amblyopia, and significant refractive errors, is during the child’s preschool years. Diagnosis of a vision condition is only useful if a child is able to access and participate in treatment. Preschool and school-based education, communication, advocacy, facilitation and supervision of vision interventions can link parents, pediatricians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, teachers, and health managers, and result in a positive impact on visual outcomes in children now, and into their adult lives.

In research, the Eyes That Thrive at Head Start programs showed success for children, parents and staff:

  • 93% compliance to vision intervention (eyeglasses and other treatment)
  • Introduction of new concepts worked:
  • Vision Action Plan
  • Two Pair of eyeglasses (one for school, one for home)
  • New policies for school compliance, and follow-up documentation
  • Increased awareness in parents and staff of the importance of checking and treating childhood vision
  • Community support from a multidisciplinary team
Healthy Eyes Healthy People® State Association Grants (Massachusetts). Administered by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and Optometry Cares® –The AOA Foundation, through a grant from Luxottica.

Preschools and schools can use Eyes That Thrive to help guide incorporation into your own program protocols.