YUMA, Ariz. - Children in Yuma Elementary District One are set to receive a new type of eye test as early as September.
Desert Mesa Elementary School will be among the first schools receiving the new vision-tracking program.
The software is called EyeSpy 20/20. It works like a video game. Students, assisted by volunteer proctors and the school nurse will input their grade level and the game adjusts accordingly.
The video game takes about three minutes to complete and is supposed to give a more accurate and efficient way of analyzing if a child has any eye-sight deficiencies. Once the child has completed the game, a receipt with all of their information is printed, given to the parent or guardian and kept in school records under HIPAA privacy rule.
United Way of Yuma partnered with vision quest 20/20 to help bring this new software to Yuma and hopes to expand to other districts in San Luis and Somerton.
These efforts are inspired by the need to attack poverty at its root.
"80 percent of a child's learning is visual, ages birth to 12-years-old," said United Way of Yuma CEO, Karina Jones. "Once we found that out we thought if a child is not learning then they may start acting out in school and that could then lead them to falling behind in school and this led us to thinking hey, let's attack poverty before it even starts, at its root."
The program comes at no cost to the schools and will be used on every child starting this Fall.
United Way of Yuma is looking for volunteers to help proctor the tests. Additionally, they are accepting any laptop donations with Windows 7 or higher capability.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating visit United Way of Yuma County