Vision screenings set

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, September 17, 2008

By Staff
special to the standard
Brewton Head Start students will have an opportunity to be screened for possible vision problems in an upcoming visit when the FocusFirst group comes to the facility.
FocusFirst staff plans to screen 135 children in Escambia County on Sept. 18 with visits in Brewton and in Atmore.
Since 2004, more than 950 students attending 17 Alabama colleges, universities, and high schools have screened over 35,000 children in Alabama for eye diseases and disorders as part of their affiliation with FocusFirst - a signature project of Impact Alabama: A Student Service Initiative.
Impact is the state's first nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and implementing substantive service-learning projects in coordination with select universities and junior colleges throughout the state.
A potential problem has been detected in approximately 12.4 percent of the Alabama children screened to date. All such children received or will receive fully subsidized follow up care, as necessary, under the supervision and coordination of Sight Savers of Alabama.
FocusFirst provides a cost-effective direct response to the vision problems of underprivileged children who live in urban and rural poverty in Alabama. FocusFirst student volunteers travel to communities of need and conduct vision screenings for children, six months to five years of age, using state-of-the-art photo-screening technology.
Founder and President Stephen Black, a professor/attorney who has developed a Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at the University of Alabama, began implementing Impact in the fall of 2004.
Impact now has 11 full-time staff members working out of the non-profit's headquarters in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

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