Garwin Lions provide free vision screening to preschoolers

Garwin Lion Mike Richardson is pictured as he tests a preschool child for possible vision problems. A total of 103 preschoolers were tested. Six children will receive further evaluation. This program is voluntary and open to any child 6 months of age through kindergarten. The Garwin Lions focused on children currently enrolled in the preschool program at GMG, Meskwaki and South Tama. PHOTO BY MARGARET THOMSEN

The Garwin Lions Club has joined forces with the University of Iowa Kids Sight project to test children kindergarten age and younger for possible vision problems. Garwin Lions Club President Mike Polich said, “Mike Richardson had been in charge of the program with the Lions in the Tama, Toledo area. When that club disbanded Mike joined the Garwin Lions and has continued the service. Testing was provided to children at GMG, Meskwaki and South Tama School. We are pleased to support this very important service. This is a voluntary program open to any child six months of age through kindergarten.”

According to Mike Richardson, “The Garwin Lions conducted the screening for 22 children at GMG Preschool, 61 children at South Tama Preschool, and 40 at Meskwaki Preschool. Screening is done only with parents’ consent…..A special camera is used and only pictures of the child’s eyes are sent for evaluation to the Iowa KidSight Program at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.”

Currently the Garwin Lions are using a special camera on loan from Iowa City. Richardson related, “We used to use a Polaroid Camera and mail the photos in. With this camera is it all done electronically. This year there were six children referred on for further testing.”

Richardson was assisted in the testing by Garwin Lion members, Ron Smith, Ron Groth and Abe Dielemann.