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Clinic offers eye exams, glasses

The Community Schools department is hosting a free Vision Clinic for Poughkeepsie City School District students Oct. 3-6 at the Early Learning Center, 372 Church St.

VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinic will be at the site from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be seeing students by appointment only. More than 300 people have already registered to obtain information or make an appointment, Executive Director of Community Schools Natasha Cherry said. Signups will be accepted until Friday and parents must fill out a medical consent form at the Parent Empowerment Center at Poughkeepsie Middle school, 55 College Ave., in order to have their child seen.

Students will receive an eye exam and be able to choose from a variety of frames with single vision lenses made on-site within about 30 minutes and more complicated prescriptions sent out to a lab and returned to the school. VSP will schedule a return visit to fit the glasses.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students,” Cherry said. “It fits with the district’s motto of being champions for children and doing everything we can to help our students succeed. Success requires vision and this free clinic provides an opportunity for all of our students to get their vision checked and corrected so they are better able to learn.”

The opportunity came about after Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison made a presentation as co-chairs of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet to the New York State Board of Regents that was observed by Stephanic Maes, assistant in higher education. Maes wrote to Rosser about the possibility of a clinic and asked if the district was interested. New York State Department of Education has partnered with VSP Global, the New York State Optometric Association and New York State Society of Opticians to offer such clinics throughout the state.

“Poughkeepsie City School District would love to be connected to this opportunity I told her,” Rosser said.

Maes put together a meeting with district staff and it was decided to have the mobile clinic at one location but offer its services to all students in the district, Cherry said, something that isn’t often done.

Transportation to and from the clinic will be provided for elementary school students, while middle and high school students will be given appointments later in the afternoon so they can walk to the ELC.

“We are grateful to all those who are making this clinic possible and helping our children see better which can only help to improve their ability to read and grow,” Rosser said.

To register your child, visit https://bit.ly/visionclinic22 or scan the accompanying QR code.

For questions, please call the Parent Empowerment Center at 845-451-4900 ext. 1425 or email pec@poughkeepsieschools.org.