Zionsville Lions Club Continues to Assist in School Vision Screenings
Writer / Matt Keating
Vision screening for 15,000 students takes a lot of time and commitment from volunteers. Just ask Dan Dumbauld with the Zionsville Lions Club.
“We do eye screening in Boone County and the surrounding areas,” Dumbauld says. “It’s a great way to help all the nurses in the schools. Nurses do eye screenings when they can, but it can take them several weeks. The Lions keep busy helping them. For instance, yesterday we eye screened 700 kids with two nurses. They were very grateful for the help.”
Dumbauld notes that the speed and efficiency of the Lions in helping with eye screening has worked out for a lot of different people.
“There are five reasons for this,” Dumbauld says. “First, there are a lot of people who care about the program. Second, it’s the credibility of the program. Third, it’s the accuracy of the tests. Fourth, it’s the speed. Fifth, it’s that we continued doing screening during COVID with safety shields and Plexiglass. We use a screening device with a safety protocol.”
Dumbauld adds that the safety measures have been very effective for everyone involved. “You want to be safe when you bring older people into a school where several kids might have the flu,” Dumbauld says.
The Zionsville Lions Club and the groups that help them have made a positive impact in several communities with the vision screening program.
“We will enter 60 schools this school year with the vision screening,” Dumbauld says. “We have 18 Zionsville community volunteers, 37 Zionsville Lions, 22 Noblesville Lions, 13 Westfield Lions, 25 Carmel Lions, a few volunteers from the Lizton Lions Club, the Lucerne club, the Lebanon Lions Club, the Plainfield Lions Club, and some volunteers from the Young America group.”
Dumbauld notes that there is a lot of intra-club involvement in the vision screening process.
“This is very unusual,” he says of the undertaking. “We work with 15,000 kids who are getting their vision checked. The Zionsville Lions manages all of it.”
Dumbauld says the Zionsville Lions Club has a strong relationship with Ascension St. Vincent during the vision screening process.
“The nurses for the schools are contracted by Ascension St. Vincent,” he says. “It used to cost the taxpayers a lot of money to get the vision screenings done at the schools. The vision screenings done by the Zionsville Lions Club really save everyone a lot of money. It’s attractive to the school principals and the school corporations because of the money saved.”
Dumbauld notes that the tests are very accurate.
“We engaged the Optec 5000 eye screening to do the vision tests,” he says. “It is great for speed and accuracy. The Zionsville Lions Club does a training program for volunteers doing the testing in July. It gets them ready for the vision screenings in the fall.”
Dumbauld praises the number of people involved in the screenings.
“The significance of the program is that we work with nurses, teachers and numerous volunteers,” he says. “We also have several optometrists involved. We have optometrists from Zionsville, Lebanon, Westfield and Logansport. We will also have some optometrists from Carmel involved soon. The Zionsville Lions Club forms partnerships with these optometrists so they can provide agreed-upon fees on frames, glasses and exams. All these partnerships are important to us.”
Dumbauld says the Zionsville Lions Club started the vision screening program in 2017. “We started out screening 2,500 kids,” Dumbauld says. “The program has grown every year. It gets a lot of attention. We screen for first-graders, third-graders, fifth-graders and eighth-graders. Kids today need all the help they can get in school.”
“The alarming failure rate for first-graders today is 13%,” he adds. “It’s 10% for third-graders, 9% for fifth-graders and 12% for eighth-graders. It’s very tragic. The vision testing helps them see better in the classroom.”
To inquire about volunteering, visit zionsvillelions.com/vision.