One of the most worthwhile projects of the Franklin Lions Club is the eye screening program. This program is specifically for the detection of eye problems in children ages 1-5.

Children's eyes are measured with a specialized PlusOptix instrument and the readings are sent to the Vanderbilt Children's Eye Center where they are evaluated.

Many eye problems are more easily resolved when found early. For some vision problems, it is critical to resolve the problem early to prevent long term vision impairment or blindness.

Thousands of children have been evaluated and referrals have been made in 4 to 5 percent of the children screened. Help is available to those without the means to have their child's problem diagnosed and corrected.

Click HERE for application for assistance.
Click HERE for screenings held and results.

What follows is a sample letter explaining the procedure at the screening event. Should you want to schedule a screening at your school, day- care, church or neighborhood group, please contact Susan Edenfield at 615.791.9777

From: Susan Edenfield

Subj: Information about the Lions Club Eyescreening Process

I thought I might answer some of your questions by telling you what we do ahead of time.

I will supply each location with an English and Spanish copy of the consent/results form. This form needs to be copied for each child and signed by a parent before any screening can be done. I can supply you with a poster to put up announcing the time and nature of the screening. I will arrive promptly, 15 minutes before the screening is scheduled to begin. I will bring an assistant in most cases. The screening is available to any child ages 1-5 who is not now under the care of an eye doctor. We also do not screen developmentally delayed children as the screening will not detect neurological problems that should be addressed by a physician directly.

On the screening day, I would need an area to take the readings that is near an electrical outlet. I will need 2 adult chairs and a table and a small chair for the child being screened. One adult from the school needs to be available to monitor their classes. Since the process is very quick, it is helpful for the screener to obtain all forms for the class so that information can be entered into the computer. Each child that is screened is given a "sticker" with a Lion on it saying that their eyes were screened today.

Most of the schools I have been to like to have a morning session. I can arrive between 8 and 9 and stay usually until your lunch periods start. When more time is needed, I usually schedule a consecutive morning session until all are screened. We have clothing that shows that we are with the Lion's Club and also pick up a pass at the office.

The Lions in our district usually screen upwards of 25,000 children a year. Last year, I screened over 4,000 in Williamson County. While I screen nearly every pre-school and daycare, there are many that do not attend.I am able to visit anywhere a group of children in Williamson County meet.

After the screening, I take all the readings and send them to Vanderbilt Eye Center with a cover sheet containing the location taken and the director's name. The results will be sent back to the schools for delivery to the parents. Full instructions will be included for any child who is referred. They can go to any eye doctor they choose. Some are suggested who work with the program, but you can clearly choose you own. We do ask that the examining doctor report his/her results to our center so that we can keep track of our success. Those who qualify, can get services through the Lions Club and the paperwork is enclosed. The results are usually back in 2-3 weeks.

Our non-invasive screening process can detect most problems that cause poor vision in young children, such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed or turning out eye), hyperopia (farsightedness), media opacity (possible cataract), anisometropia (a difference in the ability of each eye), myopia (near sightedness), ptosis (drooping eyelid) and astigmatism (unequal focusing causing blurriness). You can see why I don't have all these symptoms on the tip of my tongue!

I will be happy to meet with you to show you the paperwork, the PlusOptix instrument and answer any questions that you might have. If you would like a testament to our professionalism and integrity, please feel free to contact the school nurse at any of the FSSD or Williamson County schools or the Directors of most of Williamson County pre-school facilities.