Pittsburgh Public Schools, JuJu Smith-Shuster celebrate new program that provides free glasses for students

Students at Pittsburgh King K-8 got a reminder from a local celebrity that wearing glasses can be cool.

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said he wore glasses as a kid, and that they helped him in school, while playing sports and while playing video games.

“I think it’s very, very cool,” he said.

King students gathered in the gymnasium Friday morning to celebrate the launch of a new program that will provide free eye exams and glasses to Pittsburgh students who need them. Twenty-one King students got the first pairs through the partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools and Vision to Learn, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that aims to provide vision care to low-income children across the country.

Mr. Smith-Schuster helped make sure the new glasses fit, and posed for a photo with each student.

“Everything’s closer now,” said 11-year-old Dion McCoy, who selected a new pair of black and blue frames.

Vision to Learn was founded in 2012 and now serves low-income communities in 256 cities in 13 states. Pittsburgh Public is the first district the organization has partnered with in Pennsylvania, and eventually its leaders plan to take their services to schools in the surrounding districts and counties.

School nurses will continue to give each Pittsburgh student annual vision screenings, and the students who fail will be referred to the Vision to Learn mobile clinic, which will move from school to school. There the students will receive an eye exam, and if they need glasses, they get to choose a pair they like and receive them for free…

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