East Hartford Hosts Vision To Learn Launch in Connecticut
Posted on 03/28/2022
Student reading with new eyeglasses

East Hartford Hosts Vision To Learn Launch in Connecticut


Nearly two dozen students at Silver Lane Elementary School participated in a special celebration marking the official launch of Vision To Learn in Connecticut. These students were among the first in the state to be provided free vision services by Vision To Learn, a nonprofit organization with a mission to help kids in underserved communities get the glasses they need to see clearly at school.

“For the past couple of years, we’ve faced a number of challenges both as a school and as a community. We’re proud to say that after today one of those challenges will no longer be our kids’ ability to see the board or the ability to read the text in front of them,” Silver Lane Elementary School Principal Joe LaBarbera said during the event.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and East Hartford Mayor Michael Walsh participated in the celebration on March 25, helping students try on their new glasses for the first time.

The event also recognized the many individuals and organizations who helped bring these services to Connecticut and East Hartford including Dr. Gladis Kersaint, Vice Provost of Strategic Initiatives at the University of Connecticut; Dalio Philanthropies; UnitedHealthcare; Eileen and Andy Eder; Connecticut Community Foundation; Marcus Everard; and SBM Charitable Foundation.

An estimated 40,000 children in Connecticut’s Alliance School Districts go to school every day without the glasses they need. Through this collaboration, all elementary school students in East Hartford and thousands of students at Title I schools throughout the region will be provided a vision screening, eye exam aboard Vision To Learn’s mobile vision clinic, and – if needed - a pair of glasses, all free of charge.

“East Hartford is thrilled to be the first community in Connecticut to partner with Vision To Learn,” said Mayor Walsh. "Our students deserve every opportunity to succeed, and helping kids who need glasses is a simple yet effective way to boost their educational progress.”

In addition to East Hartford, Vision To Learn has existing agreements to help kids in Ansonia, East Haven, Winchester, Thompson, Vernon and Manchester school districts.