Charleston County Government Sponsors Annual Vision Clinic for Preschool-Aged Children at Ellington Elementary School

Press Release

Councilmember Anna Johnson at Ellington Elementary School (provided)

The Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired – Charleston (ABVI) is pleased to announce it has received a $6,326 grant from the Charleston County Community Assistance Fund to provide funding for a vision clinic at one Charleston County elementary school in addition to other program costs. These funds will support the continuation of ABVI’s Focus on Children program, which provides free vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, prescription glasses, referrals and eye care education for preschool-aged children in 22 Charleston County schools. 

The vision clinic sponsored by the Charleston County Community Assistance Fund was held at Ellington Elementary School on September 6th. The Honorable Anna B. Johnson, Councilmember for District 8 attended the clinic to meet the children and get a better understanding of some of the challenges facing Charleston’s youngest citizens.

“As a community, our collective goal is to ensure that we provide our students with the tools they need to be successful,” said Anna B. Johnson, Councilmember for Charleston County District 8. “By providing free vision screenings and eye exams to preschool-aged students, and detecting any vision impairments early, we can help students improve their studies and prepare for success beyond high school. I applaud the work being done by the Association and Charleston County School District, and I am thrilled that the County is supporting Focus on Children. Our youngest students are receiving the vision corrections they need, and in my opinion, that is a win for our entire community.”

Through Focus on Children, ABVI provides free comprehensive vision care, including prescription glasses and referrals to Charleston County students, mostly from Head Start and Child Development programs. Annually, the clinics serve over 1,500 students in 22 schools, 21 of which are Title I. A comprehensive eye exam for children not passing the initial screening is provided on site and, when indicated, ABVI provides free, prescription glasses and/or referrals to a doctor for follow-up care.

“We are grateful to Charleston County and Councilmember Johnson for supporting the vision clinic at Ellington Elementary School,” said Courtney Plotner, Chief Executive Officer for ABVI. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with such supportive grant partners as we continue to serve students through our Focus on Children program.”

ABVI is currently looking for volunteers to support the Focus on Children clinics, which are being held August – October 2018. For more information about how you or your organization can help, contact Brooks Harken at [email protected].

For more information on Community Assistance Grants from Charleston County Government, visit

https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/community-development/PY18-RFA.php.

About Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston’s mission is to empower individuals with blindness and visual impairment to lead safe, dignified, independent and rewarding lives and to prevent vision loss for adults in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties and children in Charleston County Title I schools. Founded in 1936, we have been serving the Tri-County area for over 80 years. We have three main programs supporting our mission: Focus on Adults, Focus on Children and Own Your Life. Focus on Adults and Focus on Children are preventative programs aimed at catching vision impairment in the early stages and restoring vision when possible. Own Your Life is geared towards helping our blind and visually impaired clients attain independence in their personal and professional lives. In addition, we provide guide dog scholarships for our clients as well as opportunities for social engagement.

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