Monett Lions explore KidSight program

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Statewide effort seeks to intercept childhood issues

The Monett Lions Club, as part of its ongoing mission in vision and sight preservation, continued its efforts in identification of sight impairment issues by hearing a presentation by Katherine Patterson-Paronto, executive director of KidSight.

Patterson-Paronto explained that KidSight performs thousands of vision screenings of Missouri students each year. She stated that since July 1, 2017, 58,208 screenings have been conducted in 110 of 114 counties as well as in the City of Saint Louis. The goal is to reach children in all counties of the Show-Me state.

A commonly known eye problem, Amblyoria (lazy eye), she noted, must be detected and treated by age 10, or it can result in extensive, permanent vision loss. She further explained that once a vision problem is detected, parents are notified and that KidSight diligently attempts to stay in contact until professional assistance is obtained for the child.

KidSight works with parents to inform them of what their insurance can sometimes provide toward treatment and hopeful correction of the particular sight problem. In some cases, KidSight is able to financially assist parents with treatment for their children.

Local Lions Clubs often serve as sources for referral to cooperating local eye care providers. Patterson-Paronto repeatedly stressed the importance of getting the screening services to as many students as possible. In Monett, preschool to second graders are annually screened. Screening is not limited to public school students. Services can also be arranged for private schools and homeschoolers.

Monett Lion, Steve Wise, a new member of KidSight board of directors, arranged for the KidSight presentation at the Monett club meeting. Paronto-Patterson expressed KidSight's appreciation for Monett Lions' financial contribution for vision efforts.

Also present for the informative meeting was Carl Junction Lion member, Marlene Payne, who is a certified vision screener who administered screening for Monett area students this year.