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Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 24th 2019
Vision To Learn: Providing free eye exams and glasses to poor children.

Each day millions of children struggle in school because they can’t see well enough to read or to view the blackboard.

The result: Frustrated teachers, parents and children, as those children do poorly and fall behind, some later dropping out of school.

But in 2012, philanthropist Austin Beutner, then deputy mayor of Los Angeles, met with a group of educators and they found a compelling answer to this problem.

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Austin and his wife Virginia bought an unused mobile clinic and recruited volunteer optometrists and Vision To Learn was born.


Austin Beutner Photo: visiontolearn.org

In the seven-years since its founding, Vision To Learn has expanded to serve kids in 325-cities in 13-states.

With its now professional staff, it has provided 225,000-eye exams and 180,000-pairs of glasses to children of low-income families.

Many former “problem students” are now doing well.

And not only do these glasses make a world of difference in classrooms, they allow kids to join in social activities such as playing computer games, bike riding and going to the movies.

So, who pays for these eye exams and glasses?

A combination of philanthropy, donations and funds from public-private partnerships.

Vision To Learn event
Vision To Learn event Photo: visiontolearn.org

In the Los Angeles area financial participants include the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Today, many thousands of children have found happier and far more productive lives, each with a much more promising future.

Editor's Note: Austin Beutner is now Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the 2nd largest school district in the U.S. with over 640,000 students.

To learn more: visiontolearn.org/, wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Beutner and www.washingtonpost.com.

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