The Eagles Eye Mobile visits kids in West Philadelphia

Friday, May 04, 2012
Eagles Eye Mobile

It was an eye-opening experience for some young students in West Philadelphia. They got some much needed vision care courtesy of a clinic on wheels.

Friday's stop for the Eagles Eye Mobile was the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School.

"They said cover your left and your right eye and say the letter from big to small," said 6-year-old Taniya Talib.

"It was easy," said another student.

Dozens of students got their vision checked for free. Students who needed glasses were fitted for two pairs for home and school, at no cost.

7-year-old David Kpeglo didn't realize he needed glasses until he slipped them on and saw the comparison.

"When I don't have my glasses on, it's blurry," he told Action News.

"When a kid receives the first pair of glasses, it's an awakening of sorts," said the Eye Mobile's Carter Liotta, O.D. "An awakening of potential, and what the world is like."

Organizers say in Philadelphia alone, an estimated 60 percent of public school children that fail their school nurse's state-mandated vision screening do not receive the vision care they need.

Harambee's school nurse Tracy Scott wanted to make sure her students aren't among them.

"There are a lot of kids that don't even realize they have trouble with their vision," said Scott. "They might mistake it for something else."

Should a child need care beyond the Eagles Eye Mobile, they are referred to the right doctor or hospital for any follow-ups they need.

An added bonus: everybody gets a free book to read with their freshly inspected eyes.

There were some nerves involved for students, but it turns out they had nothing to do with the exam.

"One student said to me, 'I'm so nervous to meet DeShaun Jackson.' and I said, 'There's no football player on the bus,'" said Tracy Scott.

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philadelphia, west philadelphia, local/state, katherine scott
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