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Posted by John Schorr on Jan 02, 2021
Our CMIRC School Vision Screening Project (SVSP) begins the new year with a sense of real accomplishment.  From the initiation of our team building efforts with the training sessions in September through the beginning of our screenings in October to the distribution of prescription glasses to children at the two final municipal schools (Wat Tassadoi School and Wat Ket Karam School) on December 24, we have provided a very important service for the children of Chiang Mai.
Here are some statistics that demonstrate the impact our program has had:
  • Number of schools served: 12 (All 11 Chiang Mai Municipal Schools and Wat Suan Dok School)
  • Total number of children screened: 842
  • Number of 3rd and 5th grade children screened (our target groups): 724
  • Number of children identified by teachers from other grades screened: 118
  • Number of reading glasses distributed: 17
  • Number of prescription glasses distributed: 132
  • Percentage of target group receiving glasses: 13% (96 children)
  • Percentage of special teacher-identified children receiving glasses: 45% (53 children)
So, a total of 149 elementary school children predominantly from very poor families have directly benefited from our CMIRC SVSP this year!! 
 
Thank you to our sponsors for making this possible, especially the Rotary Club of Spokane 21 which funded about 75% of the screening project, the Thai Thaim Foundation, and Eyewear Designs Limited of Bethpage, NY, USA which provided the children’s frames. Thanks, also, to the many individual donors who helped us make ends meet and, of course, to our volunteer screeners from CMIRC, RC of Chiang Mai Wattana, RC of Chiang Mai North, and our many Thai friends and relatives who helped!!
 
Finally, two very special recognitions!  First, to Optician One (far right), for being such a dedicated professional and ensuring these children’s vision needs were met.  His work involved eye examinations at the screenings, writing and ensuring prescriptions were properly filled, delivering and fitting the children’s glasses, and instructing the children on the use and care of their glasses. We could not have done this project without Optician One!! Second, my wife, and friend of CMIRC, Phijitra Schorr (left, in the photo).  She has worked with me on the planning and organization of this project for almost three years. She is the contact person for every school where we screen, and is there with me for a pre-screening visit, the screenings, and then for the eye-glasses delivery. She is also organizing the follow ups with the school health teachers. The program would have never gotten off the ground with out Phijitra’s dedication and organizational skills! 
 
So, what’s next???  First, we plan to follow up with the school health teachers in about one month to learn how the children who received glasses are doing.  Then we start planning for next year; this will include plans for re-examining those who received glasses this year (most will be 4th and 6th-graders, next year) and then plans for screening the new 3rd and 5th-graders at each of the twelve schools.
 
In the meantime, it will be fundraising to ensure that we can continue this project!!
 
Dear Readers, in spite of the generosity of our donors this year, we are still going to be far behind on our budget for next year.  The program cost per prescription including the optician’s fees, frames, and lenses this past year was about 600 Baht (US$20); the glasses are provided for free to the children.  The total program budget for next year is estimated at between $3,000 and $4,000 US dollars.
 
If you wish to learn how you can help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at johnkschorr@gmail.com or tel.: 66 (0)8 5030 2143

This program was made possible by a very generous donation from the Rotary Club of Spokane #21, Thai Thaim Foundation and several private donors; their gifts to the children of Chiang Mai covered all costs with the exception of the children’s frames. One thousand, high quality New Balance children’s frames have been donated by Eyewear Designs Limited of Bethpage, NY, USA.

Our School Vision Screening Team:

    

Thai Thaim Foundation


 
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