Lions, Kiwanis Again Team Up for Kenmore Kids


(Friday, April 20, 2007 10:25 AM EDT)

Kenmore Middle School students who have trouble seeing the board or hearing their teacher, won't be at a disadvantage anymore.

For another year, members of the Arlington Host Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club of Arlington have provided free sight and hearing screenings at the middle school to identify students who might have problems with their vision or audio perception.

The testing “is important for learning,” said Kenmore vice principal Betty Spencer-Chapman. “If the students are struggling with hearing and vision, they're not performing at 100 percent. We want students to be at 100 percent, mentally, emotionally and physically.”

The school tests students when a faculty member suspects a child has a vision or hearing problem, but there is no school-wide sight and hearing screening.

This is the third year the Lions and Kiwanians have combined their efforts for this project. Volunteers from both groups (about 16 this year) administer sight screenings that test students' peripheral vision, whether or not they are color blind and if they are near- or far- sighted.

For the hearing test, students indicate whether or not they can hear three different frequencies in their left and right ears.

Students who are identified with sight or vision problems are brought to the attention of the school nurses, and eventually could be referred to doctors. The Lions Club pays for exams and glasses, if they are needed.

More than 40 students were screened during the four hours members of the two service clubs were at the school.

Currently, Kenmore is the only Arlington public school the clubs visit each year, but they are looking to offer their services at more schools across the county.

The clubs also want to work on more collaborative projects.

“Most service clubs do the same kinds of service,” said Lions Club member Joseph Macekura, a veteran Arlington educator and former principal of Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

“What we're trying to do is combine the efforts of other service clubs, so we can help provide services at a higher degree than we can alone,” Macekura said.

Kiwanis Club of Arlington member Dave Carlson was one of 16 volunteers who tested Kenmore Middle School students like Emily Goldman on their vision and hearing.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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