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Year in Review for the School Vision Screening Project

Not much to report this month since all of our CMIRC School Vision Screening Project (CMIRC SVSP) activities are municipal-school-based and all Thai municipal schools have been closed due to Covid-19 precautions. We are hoping for a June 14 or July 1 reopening of the schools.

But we will not start our program until our volunteers have had the chance to be vaccinated. So, this gives us time to review what we accomplished in 2020 and to inform you of what we plan to accomplish in 2021-2022.

What we accomplished last year (2020):

Here are some statistics that demonstrate the impact our program has had in 2020:

  • 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 in other grades identified by teachers 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 past year

Strategy for 2021-2022:

Continue the project in the Chiang Mai municipal schools and the Wat Suan Dok School in partnership with Optician Khun One at Chom Jun Optic, the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Wattana, and, if pediatric ophthalmological surgery is needed, the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North.

Goals for 2021-2022:

Provide vision screening and free glasses for those who need them for all 3rd and 5th grade students at the 11 Chiang Mai municipal schools and Wat Suan Dok School beginning in the first term of the 2021-2022 school year (September), Covid-19 precautions permitting, and continuing into the second term of the 2021-2022 school year (November, December, January, February).

Action Required 2021-2022:

  • CMIRC project champion has coordinated with the municipal schools and Optician One on a vision screening schedule, the municipal schools and Optician One have agreed to begin in September or November 2021 and to examine children onsite at the schools and, when needed, write and fill prescriptions for children who have been screened by CMIRC SVSP volunteers.

  • Through Optician One, obtain lenses from optician at Saint Peter Eye Hospital and have them fitted to frames here in Chiang Mai. Children’s frames have been supplied by Eyewear Designs of Bethpage, NY, USA.

  • CMIRC SVSP volunteers and Optician One meet the children to deliver their new glasses and instruct them on use and care of the glasses.

  • The screenings in 2021-2022 will also include a follow-up examination with the children who received glasses through our program in 2020 (most will be 4th and 6th-graders at the same schools).

So, we are proceeding with planning for the 2021-2022 school year, probably beginning our screenings of 3rd and 5th graders in September or November (October is a school vacation period). We are hoping that all of our volunteers will be vaccinated by then so that it will be safe for them to enter the schools where none of the children are vaccinated.

Finally, while our plans are coming together for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year, we have not yet found full funding for the project. 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 about $3,000 US dollars.

If you wish to learn how you can help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at or tel.: +66 (0)8 5030 2143

Our 2020 School Vision Screening Donor Team:

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