Free eyeglasses provided to students at Milwaukee schools

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Several students at Lloyd Hopkins Community School are going to be studying in style after receiving free eyeglasses.

35% of students failed free screenings back in February -- and were back for more testing Wednesday, April 2nd.

"We have about 80 students that we are going to put through the visual acuity testing. About 95% of those students are going to require glasses, so they have a great selection of frames to choose from," said Darren Horndasch, President and CEO of Wisconsin Vision.

Wisconsin Vision is providing the glasses. The company has already distributed 500 pairs of eyeglasses throughout eight schools in low-income communities.

Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA) volunteers are assisting the company with the students. MTEA President Bob Peterson says he's already hearing about the ripple effect of better vision.

"The responses by kids are like 'ah-ha, wow! I can read that over there,' and the teachers say the same after a couple of weeks. They say, yeah, the child is really participating more in the classroom," said Peterson.

Horndasch says being able to see clearly can build confidence in students, and having good-looking frames can help build self-esteem.

"We've had some really wow factors. We've had some children without glasses that are legally blind, so they can't see the big E on the board, so to change that life experience for them on a daily basis is just exciting for us," said Horndasch.

The students will be receiving their glasses next week.