In a two year, six million dollar initiative to improve the lives of students with eyesight issues, the LA Clippers have partnered with billionaire Austin Beutner’s Vision To Learn non-profit and the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide free glasses to every student who needs them.
“It is the L. A. Clippers Foundation’s goal to make a positive difference for the children in Los Angeles. This is what we do, and there is no better way to do it than by working with a strong, proven, community leader like Vision To Learn to help kids,” said Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. “For kids with eyesight issues, Vision To Learn can change the scope of entire lives. When you can see the chalkboard, or the computer screen, or the math book- you’ve got a shot at learning.”
The move will make LAUSD the largest school district in the nation to provide glasses for every child who needs them, free of charge. Out of the over 600,000 LAUSD students, it is estimated that 15-20 percent need glasses.
“The sheer number of kids we’ll reach with this program is unbelievable,” said All-Star Forward Blake Griffin who was on hand for the announcement. “To be able to take care of that many kids and have an impact that widespread is a lot of fun for us and it’s meaningful.”
Over the next two years Ballmer, Griffin, and other Clipper personalities will make follow up visits to schools receiving eye exams from mobile clinics branded with the Clippers and Blake Griffin’s logo.
This is the third year of the Clippers and Vision To Learn’s partnership, with the program growing each year. In 2015, the partnership brought vision to 12,000 students in the Inglewood Unified School District, followed by and expansion the following year to help 80,000 students in the Long Beach Unified School District. Eye exams in all LAUSD schools are starting this month, beginning with Lovelia P. Flournoy Elementary.