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Happy October! Here at Prevent Blindness there’s so much happening, so read on . . .

Did you know that October 12 is World Sight Day? This year, the World Sight Day theme is “Love Your Eyes at Work.” Find resources here to share in your workplace and encourage your co-workers to take care of their eyes.

The Annular Solar Eclipse is coming up on Saturday, October 14, in just a few days. We now have a lesson about eye safety during the eclipse and a book developed by our fabulous NCCVEH interns for you to use in your classrooms with preschool and elementary students. Find out more below.

Eclipse Resources

Preschool and Early Childhood Solar Eclipse Lesson and Book

This Prevent Blindness "Eye Learn About Vision Health and Protection: Your Eyes and the Eclipse" lesson plan follows the most up-to-date National Health Education Standards Performance Indicators for Pre-K to 2nd grade. This lesson is intended for use with children aged 3 to 5 years old. The lesson and the "Between the Sun and Earth" children's book are available free for download in English and Spanish.

Eye Learn About Vision Health & Protection - Your Eyes and the Eclipse
Between the Sun and the Earth - book for children ages 3-5
Request the Lesson and Book

October is Contact Lens Safety Month

October is also Contact Lens Safety Month at Prevent Blindness. Check out our fact sheets on contact lens safety and cosmetic safety.

Treat your eyes to a safe Halloween. Protect your vision by safely using contact lenses.

Of course, it’s also Halloween this month. Have fun and remember to omit adding Halloween contact lenses to costumes. We encourage you to remind children about eye safety while trick or treating. Find our fun and educational infographics. Check out the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children's Vision Award article below to find out about the Pumpkin Patch Project.

October is a Great Month to Become a Children's Vision Screener

The Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Certification Course provides training and certification in evidence-based children's vision screening protocols and techniques and how to create a systematic referral follow-up process. The course includes a virtual skills mentoring session using a teach-back methodology to ensure screeners use tools correctly and to ensure screeners are comfortable with how they screen and follow up with families. This national Certification is valid for 3 years. You will also receive 5 contact hours for professional development.

The Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Certification.

Find out more about this nationally recognized course and program.

Eyes on Access: Children's Vision and Eye Health in Community Health Centers webinar - November 1, 2023

Join Prevent Blindness, the School-Based Health Alliance, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, and the National Association of Community Health Centers to learn about four models of vision care for children in community health centers and school-based health centers; enhance your skills for identifying community partners for establishing children’s vision services; and become more aware of the importance of integration of primary (pediatric) care and eyecare in community health centers. 

You’ll learn about innovative approaches to children’s vision and eye health at:

  • MCR Health in Florida
  • Family Health in Ohio
  • Neighborhood Health in Virginia
  • Vision Centers at Oyler School & Academy of World Languages School, Cincinnati Health Department

This webinar is the second of a 2-part series for Community Health Center staff (PCPs, nurses, referral coordinators, community health workers, and others). Watch the first webinar.

Register Today!

Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award: Watch Danielle Crull’s Acceptance Speech with Truffles the Kitty!

The NCCVEH was thrilled to select Danielle Crull, ABOM, optician, author, business owner of A Child’s Eyes, organizer of The Pumpkin Patch Project, and founder of the Truffles the Kitty Organization (TKO) as the 9th annual “Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award.” The award was last month. Listen to Danielle’s acceptance presentation here.

Danielle talked about several initiatives, including the Pumpkin Patch Project, a community event where families and businesses help spread awareness for amblyopia and vision impairment in children by patching a jack-o-lantern pumpkin during the month of October. While trick or treating can be so much fun, it can also be intimidating for children that have difficulty seeing things. Download coloring pages and templates to make your own patches for your pumpkins. Support children who are patching to treat amblyopia by spreading awareness by patching one of the eyes of your jack-o'-lanterns; hosting a pumpkin decorating party and include eye patches for decoration; and placing that pumpkin on your porch. 

Watch the Video

Helping Families Access Eye Care

Did you see the great panel discussion “Why the Eye: Reimagining How We Engage Communities from Identification into Care – Children and Adults” at the Prevent Blindness 2023 Annual Summit? You can watch the session here.

Our awesome interns wrote blog posts about the strategies used in diverse communities across the U.S. to help children and adults access eye care.

Mercedes Hernández, MPH, CHES, the Director of Child and Family Health at the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, presented strategies to help children access care when their migrant farmworker families live in multiple states each year. The East Coast Migrant Project has 48 campuses in 10 different states that serve approximately 3,000 children.

Mayhoua Moua is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health, Inc, a nonprofit that connects Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees to healthcare services in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mayhoua described the cultural and language considerations Hmong Health tackles in its work with different Southeast Asian groups, each having a unique dialect. She also described her partnership with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.

Verian Wedeking is the program director of the Casey Eye Community Outreach Program at Oregon Health and Science University. He discussed the program’s work to eliminate preventable blindness across Oregon through vision screenings, mobile clinical outreach, and training of community health workers to become vision health navigators.

Read more

Policy Update

Prevent Blindness launched a new Advocacy newsletter. Sign up for the enewsletter and advocacy alerts here.

Partner Webinar

Join our Partner, the School-Based Health Alliance, for a webinar on School-Based Health Center (SBHC) basics. The webinar is designed for Health Center leaders and staff, but anyone interested in SBHC start-up is welcome to participate. Dive into best practices, understand SBHC vs. Health Center operations, and discover valuable resources for planning.

Register now!

Prevent Blindness works hard to ensure that all children who need eye care are able to receive it and succeed in school, activities and future jobs.

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