Print    Close This Window
Governor DeWine Visits Oxford Elementary, Highlights New ‘Vision Strike Force’
May 17, 2024 -- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine visited Oxford Elementary School on Thursday to meet students receiving new prescription eyeglasses through the work of Vision to Learn, a new CH-UH School District partner.

As the pilot site for the partnership, Oxford welcomed the Vision to Learn team in March, who screened each Oxford student and returned a few weeks later to complete follow-up exams. In all, 91 students were found to need glasses - nearly a third of all Oxford students. 

On May 16, the Governor, First Lady, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff met with Oxford students and staff and discussed the Governor’s new Children’s Vision Strike Force. Additionally, Vision to Learn was on hand to fit 11 Oxford students for their new glasses. The rest of the students will receive their new pair of glasses on May 23.

“These students are seeing a whole new world than they were just a few moments ago, it’s truly a life-changing experience,” said Governor DeWine. “By helping our children see their best, we also help them to read their best and learn their best.”

Just like the work of Vision to Learn in CH-UH, the Vision Strike Force will aim to provide screenings, exams, and glasses for K-12 students in Ohio.

“We’re honored that Governor DeWine came to Oxford today to meet our students and discuss the Vision Strike Force. This initiative is exciting because it aligns perfectly with our values as a school district. As a leader in school-based health care, we believe that our schools must care for the whole child to ensure that they are ready to learn,” said Superintendent Liz Kirby.

Next year, the partnership with Vision to Learn will expand to all CH-UH schools to serve each student, grades Pre-K through 12. The services and glasses are provided at no cost to the District or students’ families, thanks to a generous grant that Vision to Learn received from the Ford Motor Fund.

“What’s wonderful about Vision to Learn is that they make everything come full-circle,” said Nancy Peppler, Supervisor of Community and School Partnerships. “Sometimes organizations only have the capacity to do initial screenings and referrals, but due to various barriers, families can’t necessarily take those last steps in getting their child the eye exam and acquiring eyeglasses. Vision to Learn makes that whole process happen.”

The Vision to Learn partnership with Oxford is embedded in the school’s Community Learning Center strategy, which launched at Oxford in 2023 under the leadership of Sabrina Ollie. Community Learning Centers work with community partners and staff to provide both enrichment and basic needs, including health care, right at school. 

Ahead of the visit, Oxford kindergarten teacher Millie Litten taught her students about Governor DeWine and his role as Ohio's leader. Her students were thrilled to meet (and hug) Governor DeWine just a short time later.