Charm City

Vision For Baltimore: Vision Services For Students In The City

Source: Gary S Chapman / Getty


Of the more than 60,000 pre-k through 8th grade students served by Baltimore City Public Schools, 15k may need glasses but significant barriers prevent many from getting them. Does a student you know need glasses? Even if you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to check.

Vision for Baltimore is a new program offering vision services to thousands of students across Baltimore City. It’s a partnership between the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) and city schools, Johns Hopkins University (JHU), non-profit provider Vision To Learn (VTL), and Warby Parker. They’re screening all elementary and middle school students and offering eye exams and glasses to any student who needs them.

Screenings are provided by BCHD. Students who do not pass the screening are able—with the consent of a parent or guardian—to get eye exams in VTL’s mobile vision clinic, which comes right to schools. If students need glasses, they pick the style and color of their frames in the mobile clinic. The glasses are then manufactured by eyewear provider Warby Parker and delivered to students in their schools.

All services are available regardless of ability to pay, and there is no out-of-pocket cost. If a student is enrolled in Medicaid, their Medicaid provider may be billed.

Did You Know: Improved vision better hand-eye coordination; more interest in and comfort with reading; fewer headaches, eye strain and other distractions; and better grades and behavior at school. A JHU research team is collaborating with BCHD, City Schools, and VTL to assist with the implementation of vision services and measure their impact on academic performance.

Here’s how it works:

For more info, email visionforbaltimore@baltimorecity.gov.