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Zenni and Prevent Blindness Launch Scholarship to Advance Children’s Vision

Program provides scholarships for Prevent Blindness Children’s Vision Screening Certification and vouchers for no-cost Zenni prescription glasses.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NOVATO, CA — Zenni, the online eyewear retail leader, and Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health organization, have partnered to create the Zenni Scholarship to Advance Children’s Vision program.

The Zenni scholarship will provide professionals with free enrollment in the Prevent Blindness vision certification program. This program was designed to improve vision health equity by training early childcare, education and healthcare professionals to provide children’s vision screening. Once certified, these professionals can help identify vision problems early and connect thousands of children across the U.S. with eye care – targeting those who are less likely to have access to care. The Zenni eyeglass vouchers will benefit children at high-risk of vision disorders so they can see the world with clear vision and be ready to learn, play and improve their self-esteem.

According to a recent report, the most common vision disorders in children are refractive errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. The prevalence of these disorders varies by age, race and ethnicity, but they have a disproportionately higher impact on children of color. Vision screening is a public health intervention that identifies children at risk for vision disorders and connects them to eye care and treatment. In the U.S, children’s vision screening requirements vary from state to state – in fact, only 26 of the 50 United States require vision screening for preschool-age children, so public health programs – such as this Zenni/Prevent Blindness partnership – are critical to spreading best practices in eye health. Uncorrected vision problems in children can negatively affect learning, a child’s ability to reach developmental milestones, social interactions and quality of life.

The new Zenni Scholarship to Advance Children’s Vision program directly supports receipt of a three year national vision screening certification from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH). This training enables individuals who complete the program to provide an age-appropriate vision screening and access to Zenni prescription eyeglasses for underserved populations across the U.S. through:

  • A limited number of full scholarships for the online NCCVEH Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course — a nationally recognized course based on current national guidelines, best practices and evidence-based vision screening tools and procedures for preschool and school-age children. Course scholarships are available to individuals who work with medically underserved children ages 3 years old through high school.
  • Access to vouchers for the full cost of one pair of Zenni prescription eyeglasses for children served by scholarship recipients who do not otherwise have public or private insurance to cover the cost of new or replacement eyeglasses.

“Zenni is committed to improving access to quality eye care. We are honored to deepen our partnership with Prevent Blindness through this new scholarship,” said Michelle Ticknor, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Zenni. “Prevent Blindness aligns perfectly with our broader mission to help children everywhere see their world with clear vision.”

The Zenni Scholarship to Advance Children’s Vision was created by funding through the Zenni’s Gifts That Give program, donating 25 percent of Zenni gift card purchases. This scholarship is the latest initiative as of Zenni’s larger relationship with Prevent Blindness. The partnership began in the summer 2021 during Zenni’s Framing The Future Blokz Party with the Chicago Bulls, which benefited the Illinois-based efforts of Prevent Blindness. This past October, Zenni and Prevent Blindness collaborated again in support of World Sight Day and its #loveyoureyes campaign, which shared the importance of healthy vision.

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“At the very core of our mission is helping to provide access to eyecare to the most vulnerable populations, including children,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By working in partnership with leading companies like Zenni, we can help children achieve their maximum potential by improving the children’s eye health system, creating more uniformity in screening approaches, and providing access to eyeglasses that will help children see, learn and achieve.”

For more information on the Zenni Scholarship to Advance Children’s Vision, the Children’s Vision Screening Certification Course, or general children’s vision information, contact Donna Fishman, Director of the NCCVEH at [email protected].

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