A quick retinoscopy from an eye care professional can help determine whether a student needs eyeglasses (Photo by National Eye Institute, NIH)

For many students, success in the classroom often depends on whether they can actually see the material that they are being taught.


Now, thanks to the great folks at Warby Parker, over 118,000 students across all 227 of New York’s Community Schools will be provided with free vision screenings and eye exams, and nearly 20,000 free pairs of eyeglasses will be distributed to students who need them.

This agreement is an expansion of an existing partnership we have had with Warby Parker over the past couple of years. Since 2015, approximately 94,000 students attending 130 Community Schools have received vision screenings and eye exams, and more than 20,000 of these students have been fitted with free pairs of eyeglasses. So far, nearly one in five children who have received screenings have been found to need eyeglasses.

“We know that if students can’t see the whiteboard or read the book in front of them, they simply can’t succeed in school,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña . “This expansion will provide thousands more students with free eyeglasses and vision screenings and help students cultivate a love of reading from an early age. We’re grateful to Warby Parker for their partnership.”


“We’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made in the first two years of our partnership with the City of New York,” said Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO, Neil Blumenthal. “Vision impairment is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children in the United States and we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken so far to address a complex issue in our own backyard.”

To support the expansion of this successful partnership, the City is dedicating more than $1 million to ensure that vision screenings and eyeglasses are provided to all the Community School students who need them.

Students who need eyeglasses will be able to select their own style of glasses from a wide array of Warby Parker designs created specifically for Community School students.

The DOE’s expansion of its vision partnership with Warby Parker builds on our ongoing commitment to the City’s Community Schools. Through the Community Schools Initiative, students and families have access to a range of resources that support learning, health and wellness, family and community engagement, and attendance improvement.

For more information about the DOE’s partnership with Warby Parker, check out our website.

On behalf of the DOE, we thank Warby Parker for their continued partnership with our schools!



The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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