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NECO Receives $10,000 Grant to Provide Comprehensive Eye Exams to Lowell Youth

New England Eye’s Mobile Clinic, On-Sight, will travel to Lowell this July

New England College of Optometry, NECO, has received a $10,000 Community Health Initiative Grant from Circle Health to provide comprehensive eye exams for middle school students in Lowell as part of their summer program. This July, faculty and students from NECO will travel to Lowell on New England Eye’s mobile clinic, On-Sight, to provide comprehensive eye exams, education, and glasses.

Circle Health’s Community Health Initiative Grant program was established, in part, to support the health and well-being of youth in the greater Lowell community through increased services and programs. The grants for the 2015 program seek to support three specific areas: physical activity, well-being, and nutrition. Proposals were evaluated for their ability to demonstrate clear, measurable goals for the success of the program.

New England College of Optometry was chosen as one of the recipients to support the work of faculty and staff in providing vision services to youth in Lowell. In particular, NECO’s work will be geared to providing services to students who are either experiencing difficulty in school or for whom English is not their first language.

The Lowell Department of Health conducted initial vision screenings, and faculty and students aboard the mobile clinic will be able to conduct comprehensive eye exams as a follow-up. In addition, students who need glasses will be able to choose a frame and lenses free of charge due a generous donation from the Essilor Vision Foundation.

NECO will also implement an education component for students and parents correlating vision and school achievement and provide families and school nurses information about local optical centers, follow-up care, and ordering replacements for lost and broken eyeglasses.

NECO has been working with the greater Lowell community since 2011, but this grant marks the first time the College is part of the summer program. Grant recipients were honored at a reception on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Read more about the grant recipients.