November 22, 2017

Lions Club Spot Camera Helps Students

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Students in the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District are seeing things in a better light after getting their eyes screened recently with a new high-tech camera courtesy of the Rehoboth Anawan (women’s) Lions Club and Rehoboth Lions Club. Both Lions Clubs partnered with the administration and staff at Palmer River Elementary School, Beckwith Middle School and the D-R Preschool to provide SPOT Camera vision screenings to students from October 16 through 18.

“The SPOT camera screens both eyes at once and screens for six amblyopia risk factors,” said Laura Schwall, President of the Anawan Lions Club. The screenings were conducted in cooperation with the school nurse. If any issues are detected during the screening, the nurse is immediately notified.

More than 600 students at Palmer River Elementary were screened and nearly 50 were found to have some reason to have their eyes checked by a doctor. It would normally take the nurse at Palmer River nearly the entire year to screen all the students at the school and the SPOT camera did it in one day. School administrators and nurses were happy about this innovative vision screening program. “The SPOT technology was remarkable! We are so appreciative of the Lions Clubs and their efforts to secure the resources and train volunteers to screen our students,” commented Elise DuBois, Palmer River Vice Principal. “Early detection of vision impairments is critical to our success as educators,” DuBois said.

“At Beckwith, 271 fifth and seventh graders were screened per MDPH regulations and 32 referrals were made! The SPOT screening is quick and accurate. Thank you to the Rehoboth Lions for all of their help with this!” said Cathy Mondor, Beckwith nurse.  “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Rehoboth Anawan and Rehoboth Lions Clubs for partnering with our nurses at Beckwith Middle School, D-R Preschool and Palmer River Elementary School. It is always a positive experience for our schools and community organizations to collaborate on important issues facing our students,” said Dr. Anthony Azar, Superintendent.

The program was spearheaded by Lions Past President Mike Salois who brought the concept to the clubs, arranged for training and use of the cameras and participated in the three days of screenings, said Schwall. “It is our hope that by supporting our schools with technology and volunteers, risk factors will be identified sooner and early intervention from an eye care professional will produce a better outcome for the child,” Schwall said.

The SPOT camera is on loan from Lions Club District 33-S. Any Lions Clubs in the district can request the use of the camera. Volunteers from the Rehoboth Anawan Lions Club and Rehoboth Lions Club received specialized training in the use of the SPOT Camera, said Schwall. “Over three days, Lions volunteers and school nurses screened 897 students … As a result of the screenings, 80 students were referred for follow up with eye care professionals,” explained Mike Salois, Past President, Rehoboth Lions Club. Schwall said she looks forward to additional opportunities to collaborate and continue the long-standing commitment of the Lions in support of the community.

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