HELENA — The Little Peeps program provides eye exams and glasses to kids in need free of charge. In May, 17 Helena area students were given free comprehensive eye exams and 14 received glasses free of charge.
The school nurses of the Helena Public Schools identified the students who needed eye care.
“It great, you know that’s a big part of my job as a school nurse is getting kids not only for glasses but other issues that they may have, figuring out that causing the problems and getting them the care that they need.” said Helena Schools nurse Francis Leonard.
The eye care was provided by the eye doctors at Helena Vision Center. Matt Nottingham, an optometrist and co-owner of Helena Vision Center, explained if a school-aged child has difficulty seeing, it could negatively affect the way they learn.
“You know kids, at grade school level, 80% of the learning is visual. So it goes through the visual pathway, so if they’re not seeing clearly or they have binocular vision issues, you know that can affect them.”
Molly Severtson the executive director of Mountain Health Gives, the organization supporting Little Peeps in Helena, says the negative impact can go beyond learning.
“It can also affect kids socially and in other ways developmentally so it very very important.”
Paige Wedel was a recipient of glasses from Little Peeps said she loves her glasses and say they have been a big help.
“The board is always blurry, so I’m happy I have glasses,” said Wedel.
This is the first initiative of Mountain Health Gives, a nonprofit organization. To learn more about this program visit mountainhelathgives.org.