(The Center Square) – Philadelphia public schools approved a $1 million two-year contract that would provide free vision screenings and follow-up exams for students.
The Board of Education approved the spending at its Aug. 17 board meeting.
The School District of Philadelphia had 118,401 students in 2022-23. According to U.S. Census data, 22.8% of the people living in Philadelphia were at or below the poverty level on average from 2017-2021.
The program administered approximately 5,500 eye exams during the 2022-2023 school year and prescribed over 4,500 glasses to students.
The district approved a two-year deal with vendors to provide $500,000 worth of dental services at no cost to the district through screenings that will help identify the oral health needs of district students.
This program had about 6,000 students receiving dental examinations during the 2022-2023 school year at no cost to the student.
The board teamed for the dental care with St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children-Ronald McDonald CareMobile, Kids Smiles, Inc., the University of Pennsylvania, Big Smiles/Smile Programs and the Oral Health Impact Project Pennsylvania.