Vision has been on the forefront of students’ minds in Highland County recently. This is because of local optometrist Dr. Tausha Barton from Hillsboro, and the Realeyes program. Recently Barton was awarded the Top Realeyes Presenter in the state from the Ohio Optometric Association. She presented to more students than any of the other 260 volunteer presenters in Ohio during the last school year. Barton presented to 2,405 students during 63 presentations throughout Highland county.
The Ohio Optometric Association’s Realeyes Program was created 16 years ago to educate students on eye health and safety. It has been presented to over 850,000 students throughout Ohio by volunteer optometrists. Since Barton presented Realeyes in 2003, she has been in 11 schools throughout Highland County, in front of 130 classrooms, educating over 4,000 students.
Each Realeyes presentation is interactive and fun for the students, with four different curricula available. Each program teaches eye safety, how the eye works, and symptoms of common vision disorders. From singing songs with preschool students, to doing lab experiments with middle schoolers, each curriculum is age appropriate.
“Vision is important in childhood learning, and vision care is critical to the academic development of Ohio’s children,” said Barton.
“Eighty percent of what a child learns is through sight, and research shows one in four children has an eye disorder, yet alarmingly only 14 percent of children entering school have ever had a comprehensive eye examination with an eye doctor.” added Barton.
The Realeyes Education Initiative was created to educate children and their parents that vision care is important for a child’s success. If left undetected, a vision problem that could easily be corrected can be devastating, with effects that can last a lifetime.
“Good vision is critical to classroom tasks, from reading the whiteboard or computer screen to concentrating on tests. Also, children often accept blurred vision caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism because they think everyone sees the way they do. Vision is not just about how small the letters are that a person can see, but also how the eyes work together. That is why a vision screening at school or in a pediatrician’s office is not sufficient to detect all vision issues,” Barton added.
Realeyes reaches students throughout Ohio and consists of four age-appropriate, classroom presentations that offer different lessons for each age group ranging from PreK-8th grades. All curricula are offered at no charge to schools. Barton donates her time and funds for student materials to take home come from the Ohio Department of Health’s Save Our Sight Program, through donations given when renewing license plates.
To schedule a Realeyes presentation or for additional information contact Realeyes at (614) 781-0708, [email protected], or visit www.ooa.org.
Submitted by Realeyes program.