Photo on file
Creswell High School Counselor Lori Naugle said she could picture herself in a classroom struggling with vision impairment, and how difficult that would be. She said she would understand how a student would feel disconnected with the lesson, and be unable to track the information.
With vision care not always an insurance option, students who need glasses can’t always get the resources they need. For that reason, Naugle helped form a partnership between Creswell High School and Rainbow Optics to provide 12 vouchers for an eye exam and set of glasses for students in the district.
”We want kids to be successful here at school,” she said. ”We recognize, and it’s understandable, if (parents) have insurance they don’t always have vision care. There are gaps for people to what they can access and we’re trying to make sure kids have what they need to be successful here at school.”
Naugle said one of the high school teachers had talked with her about a student who couldn’t see the whiteboard in class, no matter how close to the front the student was sitting. She said it was a casual conversation initially; however, due to Naugle’s experience in the Bethel school district in Eugene, she knew that opportunities were available.
”Because of that familiarity with Rainbow Optics, I contacted them and asked if that was something they could make available for Creswell as well, and they were wonderful,” Naugle said. ”Super supportive for providing that resource.”
Nova Becker, who works at the Rainbow Optics on West 18th in Eugene, said they have offered vouchers for years because it’s how they serve the community. She said it’s not something the business or owner has ever advertised because they aren’t interested in the recognition; the business considers it part of being good community members.
”Seeing is important and we want to make sure we’re trying to support people see,” Becker said.
Students can pick any basic frame from a specific section of Rainbow Optic’s inventory, but contacts are not part of the voucher. Naugle said she has given out four of the 12 vouchers so far, and is in touch with counselors at each school to provide the vouchers for all Creswell students.
Naugle has given out four vouchers already, but hasn’t had an opportunity to follow up because one of the voucher’s qualifiers said exams weren’t available during the month of December. The vouchers came to the school the week of Veteran’s Day in November, and Naugle advised students to make appointments the week of Thanksgiving, before December started.
”Being able to be more engaged in class discussions hopefully puts them in a better position to stay connected to what’s going on in class and build confidence,” Naugle said. ”You could doubt yourself if you’re not sure what’s going on.”
For parents who want to access the vouchers, they can get in touch with Naugle or the counselor at their child’s school.