On the evening of Tuesday August 29, 2017, students, residents, faculty and staff from New England College of Optometry, NECO participated in Boston Public School’s annual Countdown to Kindergarten event at the Boston Children’s Museum. The comprehensive Countdown to Kindergarten, sponsored by the Boston Public Schools (BPS), provides a series of programs and events designed to engage and educate young children and their families as they prepare for kindergarten.
Community service is an integral part of NECO’s commitment to the community. NECO has been participating in and providing free vision screenings at the Countdown to Kindergarten event at the Boston Children’s Museum for many years. Providing screenings is one way our students make a difference in the lives of people throughout the community. By identifying potential vision issues through the screenings, NECO students, residents, and clinicians help ensure that students are prepared for success in school.
This year, 99 children had their vision screened. The group consisted primarily of entering kindergarten students, as well as several siblings. Twenty-five children were found to need follow-up eye exams. Parents were given the results and recommendations for further services in the local community.
The group from NECO included four licensed optometrists, eleven optometry students, and two administrative volunteers from New England College of Optometry. Preceptors included Kristen Kerber, OD ‘16 and residents Emily Weicek, OD ‘17, Justine Grier, OD, and Michael Merritt, OD ’17. NECO students volunteering at the event included Teresa Chang, Victoria Gagnon, Lindsay Michaud, Monica Luo, Caroline Bui, Kirsten Brady, Josephine Ko, Caitlyn Wong, Natalie Wu, Lori Shin, and Chuck Johnson. Administrators Paulette Tattersall and Kellie Cuadrado from the NECO Center for Eye Care helped to coordinate the screenings.