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Hagerstown Lioness Club provides vision screening at county schools

December 03, 2007

Hundreds of Washington County public school students' lives have been improved because of the annual vision screening by the Hagerstown Lioness Club. The club has provided the service since 1993, when the Washington County Health Department was forced to curtail is vision screening program in public schools and asked the Lioness Club to step in.

This year, from Sept. 4 to Nov. 1, the Lionesses of the Hagerstown Lioness Club screened 7,180 students in 34 public schools in Washington County. Students in kindergarten through grade three are tested for visual acuity, muscle balance, and excessive farsightedness. Fifth- and eighth-graders are also tested for colorblindness.

Of those tested, 907 students were referred to the Washington County Health Department for further testing, prior to notification to parent or guardian, recommending further visual evaluation and a comprehensive exam by an eye specialist. It is known that up to 80 percent of any individual's learning is dependent on vision. Up to a third of America's schoolchildren are suspected to have visual inefficiencies. Vision problems are increasingly linked to learning disabilities and poor academic performance.

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Co-chairs Joan Bachtell, May Crabb, Doris Fisher and Betty Morgan coordinated the effort.

The following volunteers assisted: Hagerstown Lionesses Joan Bachtell, Lucille Beard, Sandy Burns, Marie Byers, Julia Cardenas, Hazel Chilcote, May Crabb, Ellie Drummond, Doris Fisher, Karen Flohr, Helene Frazier, Audrey Grier, Jean Hardy, Leslie Hobbs, Sara Jane Hoyle, Anna Mae Hubbell, Patsy Johns, Audrey Kagle, Janice Keefer, Jo Ann Keller, Joann King, Marilyn Lazzio, Clara McDaniel, Doris McConnell, Diona Minnich, Hon Moore, Betty Morgan, Judy Mundey, Janet Musser, Thelma Myers, Kathy Navin, Tammy Needy, Sue Nelson, Mirian Paul, Linda Perry, Barbara Sellman, Eloise Shaffer, Elaine Shank, Linda Sokol, Donnagean Talbert, Linda Tantillo, Paula Trumble, Linda Vestal, Dotty Wallace, Marian Wiebel and Rose Wood; Hancock Lionesses Betty Bradley, Jane Falkler, Izora Miller and Karen Sorenson; Hagerstown Lions Gordon Crabb, Dave Fisher and Tom Perry; Long Meadow Lions Reed Hardy and Don Talbert; Sharpsburg Lions Donna Delauney, Shelva Lohman, Aldeth and Roger Moore, and Phyllis Stowell; and West Hagerstown Lions Helen and Jim Gossard.

Other friends included Girls Inc. of Washington County, Keefer Martin, Donna Rasmussen, Barbara Reeder, Dot Truax, and Bob and Virginia Walton.

The Lionesses would like to thank everyone who contributed to this rewarding community service project, which included the assistance and participation of parents, school principals and vice principals, teachers, teachers' aides and students.

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