Free eye exams offered to 3rd graders who failed reading test

The Mississippi Optometric Association has announced that they will give free eye exams for students who did not pass the third grade reading assessment and do not have insurance.

This is the fifth year for the program and the exams will be offered through July 31st. This year, with higher standards implemented by the MDE, one in four of the state’s third graders did not pass the literacy promotion test.

“We know that vision is a greater predictor of academic success than socioeconomic status. And as citizens of Mississippi we have a vested interest in making sure all of our students have the tools and the opportunity to succeed at their highest abilities,” said Dr. Amy Crigler, MOA President. “Vision is a better predictor of academic success than socioeconomic status. We are committed to identifying those students who have vision problems.”

Statistics show that 25 percent of all school-age children have vision problems and more than 80 percent do not get the help they need. Results of the MOA and MVF Third Grade Eye Exam program (aimed at students who did not pass the third-grade reading assessment) reveal that 88 percent of the students who were tested were found to be in need of some form of visual intervention.

For students who are covered through private insurance, applicable co-pays may apply due to laws that require the doctor to collect this amount. All children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, will be seen by ODs participating in the program. The MVF, working with industry partners, will cover the costs for any student who needs an exam. Additionally, industry partners are working with Mississippi ODs to provide glasses free of charge to any student whose eye test reveals the need for corrective lenses.

To locate a participating optometrist, parents of eligible third graders should CLICK HERE or call 601.572.0845. When making the appointment, parents should tell the receptionist they are scheduling the third grade eye appointment. They should bring the letter notifying them that their child did not pass the assessment test with them to the appointment.