Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vision Screening is What We Do

The Mendenhall Flying Lions has been busy with vision screening this month.  We didn't waste any time once school started getting in touch with nurses in the Juneau School District and public health nurses for Southeast communities to see what we could schedule.

And a HUGE thanks to all the Lions who take time out of their busy schedules to show up at the schools and travel out of town to provide this valuable service.

Here's how September went:

Valley Baptist Academy (preschool):  screened 79 with 7 referrals
Floyd Dryden Middle School (6th graders):  screened 165 with 39 referrals
Riverbend Elementary (Preschool):  screened 35 with 4 referrals
Angoon (preschool, elementary, and high school):  screened 72 with 21 referrals

The Angoon screening breaks down like this:
  Preschool:  screened 7 with 3 referrals
  Elementary:  screened 41 with 6 referrals
  High School:  screened 24 with 12 referrals (but six were missing their glasses)

What I find interesting is that most schools only want us to screen their preschool, kindergarten, and sometimes first graders.  Do they not think children's eyes can get worse?   Angoon High School is a good example of the answer to this.... YES!   We caught six children in high school who were not aware they needed glasses....  So why, most cases, are we only allowed to screen the younger children?

This is an ongoing frustration for us.  But we continue on and take what they give us!

This has been a good start for the school year with lots of others in the works.  Next month we head to Gustavus, Hoonah, and Wrangell and are presently working on Sitka schools and several other schools here in town.

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Eyes are Fine!

In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become “Knights of the Blind” in the crusade against darkness.  The Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions have taken this crusade to heart in their eyeglass recycling and vision screening efforts.  

Providing free vision screening to children is one of the most important things we, as Lions, do.

There's probably not a Lion reading this that doesn't see the value in the screening that we do, especially with children.  Can you agree?  Children can fake the eye exam they get at the school nurse's office.  They hear what the children in front of them are saying, and they mimic.  How do I know this?  Because we were approached by a mother last year who told us she was not aware her 9 year old son had a vision problem until we screened him.  He would fake the eye exam every year at the school nurse's office.  There's no faking our PlusOptix vision screener.  

So our screening has value!  Why is it then, that parents avoid us when we're out in public performing vision screening?  We don't have the plague!  We're just there trying to serve our community.  

Now we're concentrating our efforts in the schools more than ever not only in Juneau but in outlying communities in Southeast.   But, again, we have some school nurses who seek us out to schedule vision screening and others who don't see the value.  

This month we were asked to screen children at Floyd Dryden Middle School.  This was exciting and we felt we took one step forward because we typically are asked to screen only pre-school and kindergarten children.  We've not been been able to convince the powers that be that all children deserve to have their eyes tested on a regular basis....  I guess once you turn 8, your eyes don't change....

But we keep plugging away.... we keep reaching out to the school nurses and others who can help us with our cause.  We don't give up, we just try a little harder.  It's that important.  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton

Friday, September 25, 2015

End of Year Litter Pick Up

The Mendenhall Flying Lions Club has been picking up trash along the Glacier Spur Road for many years now.  This is the road that takes tourists to the Mendenhall Glacier.  Even though it's never heavily littered with trash, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities expects us to do our service three times a year.
Lion Mukhya Khalsa, Jill Lingle, Lions Mike Norton, Donna Hurley, Soapy Lingle, Bob Hurley, and granddaughter Chevelle
So, Spring, Summer, and Fall, you will find us walking the road, picking up trash, having a pretty good time.

Typically, Fall pick up can be a less than desirable time because of weather. It's the end of Summer, Fall can be miserable, and Winter is on its way.  There's a briskness to the air.  Leaves are falling.  There's probably snow on the mountains surrounding the glacier.  Chances are good you'll get wet.

This is Fall.  Winter is just around the corner....  Thanks to all the Lions AND non-Lions who joined us on this nice, Fall day to make our town a little nicer.

We Serve!
Lion Nancy Norton