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Highlights • Visionworks & Davis Vision

Ayden, age 7, of Moreauville, Louisiana

“It has helped Ayden out a lot,” said his grandmother. He is now reading above grade level.

For Ayden: A much-needed eye exam and glasses

In the fall of 2015, 7-year-old Ayden was having problems with reading and spelling at school, and his grandmother had a strong hunch.

"I wanted to get his vision checked," said Melanie Bordelon, who lives next door to Ayden and his father, Sean, a disabled veteran, in Moreauville, Louisiana.

So she set out to find an optometrist. "But they all kept saying they couldn't see a child that young," said Melanie. That is, until she came across Visionworks' website.

There, she learned about the "Let's Go See" program, created specifically for children ages 5 through 18. Visionworks and its sister company, Davis Vision, co-sponsored the philanthropic program during the 2015-16 school year, in partnership with national organizations Prevent Blindness and Big Brothers and Sisters.

"Let's Go See" has a twofold goal: to educate Americans about the importance of yearly eye exams for school-age children and to provide vouchers to 10,000 children who qualify for a free eye exam and eyeglasses at Visionworks retail optical stores in more than 700 locations across the U.S.

Melanie applied on behalf of Ayden, and a few weeks later, he was accepted. "We got the acceptance letter and the voucher, and off we went to the Visionworks store in Alexandria," said Melanie.

Ayden's free exam revealed that he did, indeed, need eyeglasses.

"We sure appreciate the program," said Melanie. "It has helped Ayden out a lot." Whereas Ayden had been reading below grade level, he is now reading above. "Now, he wants to read his homework stories every day. He likes counting the new words he is learning as he goes. And he is so careful with his glasses. After school, he usually goes outside to carry on with the dogs. But before he does, he puts those glasses back in their case, so carefully," she said.

Ayden knows how important his glasses are, as do Visionworks and Davis Vision.

"One in four children has a vision problem," said Jim Eisen, president and chief executive officer of HVHC Inc. and president of Visionworks. "We work to get vision care right in every way. And we're proud to offer ongoing programs such as 'Let's Go See' that are giving kids the vision they absolutely need to succeed."

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