Norwich Lions provide Spot Vision screening at the Sharon Elementary school

They leave the den to serve once again

Good morning,

I am sharing with the community the recent visit that 3 Norwich Lions “visioneers” made to the Sharon Elementary School to conduct Spot Vision screening. After you read this story, why not check out the new Norwich Lions club website and see what we are all about.

Here is the link to the site:

Credits to Gary Degasta and Steve Flanders for story and photos


Spot Vision Screening—Sharon Elementary School

By Gary De Gasta and Stephen Flanders

Sharon, Vermont, December 10, 2020 Three Norwich Lions Club “visioneers”—trained volunteers—screened 138 children at the Sharon Elementary School for vision issues under the supervision of the school nurse, Jill Lloyd, R N. The school teaches at the pre-school to the sixth-grade level with students ranging in age from three to 15. The visioneers were Lions Steve Flanders, Peter Stanzel and Gary De Gasta.

They used a Welch Allyn Spot® Vision Screener, which resembles a Polaroid camera and quickly assesses six parameters: myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), astigmatism (blurred vision), anisocoria (unequal pupil size), anisometropia (unequal vision between eyes), and gaze symmetry.

The spot screening device replaces the traditional use of an eye chart for screening children and provides much more information. Typically, a subject can be screened in under a minute and screening results in a printed report for the school nurse’s files. Out-of-range values are highlighted for the nurse to advocate follow-up by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to the child’s parents. Typically, about 10% of those screened result in out-of-range readings. Of the 138 children screened, 13 registered out of range.

Thanks to COVID-19 precautions instituted within the Sharon School District, not a single case of the virus had been reported among the students or staff.

The screening protocol addressed COVID-19 safety in a variety of ways. The visioneers were given a temperature check and queried about risk factors, upon arrival. Then, they were led into a large, well-ventilated room and issued KN-95 masks and face shields. The children and teachers waited in the hall outside and were admitted one at a time—each wearing a mask. Each child had an identifying code, issued by the school nurse, to preserve privacy. With appropriate breaks the screening spanned five and a half hours.

Children, teachers and school staff all wore masks. The colorful children’s masks featured everything from a batman logo to a smiley face to a pig’s nose.

The Spot® Vision Screener used is one of several owned by District 45 Lions (the State of Vermont). The screening devices, strategically based at clubs throughout the state—including Norwich—are valued at $7,500 each

Annually, Vermont Lions Clubs in District 45 screen thousands of Vermont school children. The Norwich Lions Club has participated in the District program since 2016 and currently has over a dozen club members trained as visioneers, ready and able to conduct eye screenings.

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