A new partnership was formed this year between the Fife Lion’s Club and the Fife School District. Just this year the Washington State Legislature has passed a new unfunded mandate that all schools are required to screen school age children in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th-grades now for nearsightedness as well as distance acuity.
A scramble took place on how to meet this new need. Several districts began discussions on how to proceed next year in 2017-18 on how to meet this new requirement. The lead nurse for the Fife School District began to explore options. He followed up on a lead to contact the Lion’s Club. He discovered that Dave Risley, with the NW Lions Foundation, had received a grant and obtained a trailer with hearing machines and state-of-the-art vision screening machines. These high tech machines can screen a student in approximately three seconds and measures nearsightedness, farsightedness, strabismus and astigmatism. This is particularly useful for younger students. In addition it saves a lot of time and work. The Plusoptix Vision Screening machine is from Germany and retails approximately $8,000 each.
So in late March and mid-April, the Fife Lion’s Club in partnership with the nurse and health team at Discovery Primary and Hedden Elementary were able to screen more than 1,000 children over five days, using volunteers from the Fife Lions Club, and were able to meet the new state requirements a year early.