Isabella & Joel’s Story

Isabella and Joel are siblings that have attended the school for several years. The whole time they have been here, teachers and school staff have pushed Mom to take them to the eye doctor because of their extremely poor eyesight. Teachers had been frustrated, sharing that they struggled to teach the kids because they can’t see the board despite how they’ve re-arranged their classroom to place the kids as close as possible to the front of the room. Mom just wasn’t comfortable with the idea, so the kids have never been able to see an eye doctor.

This year, I met with Mom early in the year to discuss the issue. We had the kids do an eye chart with the school nurse, and both students failed the test. I shared this information with Mom, but she said she didn’t think they needed glasses despite that. I didn’t want to push her away because there were a lot of other circumstances happening in the family’s life, that maybe this just wasn’t the best time to push her. After a few months, I tried again with a similar result; Mom said the kids didn’t want to wear glasses. Then, a couple weeks later, right before Spring Break, Isabella came to me during her lunch hour. She said she thought she needed glasses and wanted to know if I could help her. I asked her if she had ever told Mom how she felt about it, and she said Mom was pretty stressed out and she didn’t want to worry her with one more thing. I encouraged Isabella to talk to her Mom and gave her a day to do so. Then I reached out to Mom to schedule a meeting. Mom was surprised that the kids felt like they did need glasses, and she felt bad that the whole time she thought they didn’t. I let her know that I would be happy to help with everything. Since the family did not have insurance, I told her that I had VSP vouchers that would cover the visit and glasses for the kids, so it would be at no cost to her. I helped schedule the appointment and offered to give the students a ride. Mom was so grateful. The whole year she spent being anxious about the eye doctor and her kids needing glasses, but once we went to the appointment, she was instantly at ease. She saw for herself how much her kids were in need, and when they finally received their glasses, they were both so excited. Mom was so happy for them that she cried.

The kids were able to get their new glasses right before State Testing, which made a world of a difference. After getting adjusted to their new glasses, teachers were praising how quickly they were taking in information now that they could see. Both kids were so grateful, and Mom was as well. It was a huge win for these students and their teachers!