Not everyone has health insurance (don’t you read the news?). In addition most people do not have coverage for eyeglasses. So what do you do when your child needs glasses at school? If you have the insurance or the money go ahead and try Sam’s Club or Costco or anyone else you like. But if you need some help buying glasses I have a few suggestions. You may end up getting free glasses or glasses at a low cost. Good Luck
1 If the school has made the referral you can go to the school nurse for possible resource information.
2 Many school nurses (if they belong to the National Association of School Nurses NASN) have access to VSP (Vision Service Plan) Coupons. These provide for a free examination and eyeglasses. To qualify you must be a citizen or legal resident and you must not have any insurance. Where I work we give fifty to sixty out every year to qualifying individuals with good results and I know many other school take part in this program.
3 If you have a local Lions Club in your community you may be in luck. The Lions Club has a program called SightFirst which came into being in 1989. The purpose was to prevent blindness and help with individuals get cataract surgery and provide sight-saving medication, eye training, and provide glasses and other equipment to those in need. If you don’t know where to go you can check with your school nurse (they usually work with the schools too). I have provided a website below.
4 Lenscrafters has a charitable program too. In our school district (in California) we have many low income children who get eye exams and glasses for free or low cost. They have a program called One Sight. They recycle used eyewear, set up eye clinics around the world and also regionally. Your school nurse may know about this. A website is provided below.
5 If your school has a PTA (Parent Teacher’s Association) they may have a program to assist families. The principal or school nurse should be able to give you info, if it is available.
6 A program I just came across is called New Eyes for the Needy. It seems similar to the VSP program, but do not have a rating for this program as to whether or not it is effective. Web Site below.
Tips & Warnings
Talk to others to see what their experiences have been. There is help out there and sometimes you have to do a little digging.
If you are really in need of assistance and nothing above works and the teacher is hounding you about it go and talk to the principal and perhaps he/she will have a recommendation or another resource.
Keep trying!.You are not going to get the most expensive eyeglasses for free so do not expect to buy Prada or Versace. The most important thing is help your child not be visually impaired. Not seeing well in school can adversely affect academics.