The past few months have been a great challenge to every staff person with all the changes we have made at the Foundation and the learning of how to use all the new technology. It is so great to have new staff people working in several different places in the state at the same time, but the job of keeping each of these screenings in the right place on the calendar at the right time is a monster of a job. It is exciting to learn about the new equipment and what we can do with it and I wonder what new and wonderful thing will come along next. After all, only two years ago we were just getting an inkling of what the Spots were and now we are using them all over the state.
In early January I got a request from District Governor Bill Burley from District G asking for a time for us to come over and screen the kids at the Huntington school. In his request for screening time Bill mentioned that even though his school was small, his kids were just as important as the kids in the big schools around the state and he is absolutely correct. His kids are just as important to us as any other school in the state. To prove a point, in early January, I traveled from Beaverton to Redmond and picked up Ted Carlin, a new Lions Foundation employee, and we traveled to Lakeview and screened 83 kids from kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. Then we headed home finishing the three day trip and driving 700 miles.
Two weeks later I once again left Beaverton and picked up Ted in Redmond and this time we drove to Burns where we screened 137 kids. Then we went over the mountains to John Day and on to the Metropolis of Mitchel, population 129. Here we screened the entire school K through 12. We screened vision and hearing for all 55 students. This was another three day trip and this time it was 703 miles round trip. The point I am trying to make here is your kids are important to us no matter where they are, and we will go a long ways and spend the time necessary to screen kids in any school in the state of Oregon, and Northern California.
While screening in Burns, we screened a young boy that had one of the worst scores I have ever seen. His reading was a + 7.5 in both eyes! I’m not a doctor so I don’t technically know what this means but I do know that it means his vision is very, very poor! When I asked him where his glasses were, (because I assumed he must have them), his answer was “At home.” I then asked him if he normally wore them and he said, “No, I don’t wear them much”. How this child can do any school work is beyond me, and why has someone not seen that there was a problem before and made him wear his glasses! However, when I told the office person that was bringing the kids to be screened she asked if she could have his paper and told me she would take care of this and started down the hall with paper in hand. I am hoping this child will be changing his ways soon.
Mitchel is a small town built on the side of a mountain and just off the highway. I am sure back in its hay day the highway ran right through town, but now you turn off the highway and three blocks later you are back to the highway. Mitchel reminds me of a mining town you might see pictures of in Alaska. You turn off the main street and start up the canyon with houses built on either side of the canyon and end up at the school built high on the side of the hill. Here they not only service the local children, but also have exchange students from other countries that board there. We met two boys from Germany one was from a town of over 600,000 and the other from a town of 1.1million+. I can’t imagine the culture shock these students must have had when they got here. They both needed help with vision problems so the Lions can now help them. What a great job we have!!!
Mitchel has an active Lions club and they were a great help to us. They told me that The Mitchel Lions would be interested in helping at other schools in their school district. Just a thought as we expand our program to all the small towns out there.
I looked back over the years of Gator Thoughts and found one I thought I would repeat because the spelling of some words are so confusing to me. I thought if a word means two different things it should be spelled differently……..Right? As usual I was wrong!
See ya later.