What if there was an easy, inexpensive way to help at-risk children become positive, productive adults? What if we could, as a society, greatly reduce crime statistics, high school dropout rates and future prison populations, while at the same time providing for a brighter overall economic future?
It sounds like a daydream, but something as simple as getting our kids an annual eye exam and a good pair of glasses could make it a reality.
Children’s vision statistics
Illiteracy in children can be directly linked to problems in adulthood, and illiteracy in children is often a result of uncorrected vision problems. Look at these staggering statistics:
- 80% of what children learn comes through their eyes.
- 1 in 4 children has an uncorrected vision problem.
- 80% of children who have trouble reading also have vision problems.
- 50% of children who fail school eye screenings never see an eye doctor.
- 65% to 74% of juvenile offenders have vision problems.
Immediate and long-term benefits
There are immediate benefits to getting children the vision correction they need. Behavior, performance and school attendance improve.
Literacy in children has a direct correlation on productivity in adulthood. Kids who can’t read by 3rd grade are more likely to drop out, earn about 50% less annually as adults and are more likely to be incarcerated.
Prisons forecast the beds they will need in 10 years based on 3rd grade reading levels. – Essilor Vision Foundation
The benefits to helping children who need vision correction are astounding. But what about the costs?
Saving for the future
With uncorrected vision problems comes an increased likelihood of dropping out of school. Here are some more numbers provided by the Essilor Vision Foundation:
- Each dropout costs society $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes and productivity
- Dropouts are more likely to be arrested or become teenaged parents.
- If 1% more males graduated each year, the United States would save $1.4 BILLION annually and have 100,000 fewer crimes.
And the cost to make this a reality — simply the expense of taking a child to get an eye exam and purchase eyeglasses versus $91,000 a year to house an adult inmate.
Helping the cause
We’ve identified a clear problem with such a simple solution. Clearly, ensuring that your children get their eyes examined regularly and providing them with corrective eyewear if needed can make a big impact on their future.
For some families, affording an eye exam and glasses are just within the budget. But replacing those glasses in the event of losing or damaging them isn’t. In the spirit of helping children’s continued eye health and achievement, Berkeley Eye Center is now offering a free protection plan with the purchase of a complete pair of children’s eyeglasses.
If you buy a complete pair of children’s eyewear purchased by August 31, 2011, we will replace lost or damaged glasses for FREE if it is within 12 months of the purchase.
Before school starts, schedule your kids eye exams at Berkeley Optical and help your children do their best this year.