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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

“Eyecare About Reading” Book Drive Competition Provides Free Books and Eye Exams to Children Across the U.S.

“Eyecare About Reading” Book Drive Competition Provides Free Books and Eye Exams to Children Across the U.S.

To read well, a child first needs to see well, as 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes. However, an astonishing one in four children has an undetected vision problem—many of which are due to lack of vision care. To shed light on the critical role healthy vision plays in helping to develop a child’s passion for reading and learning,  HYPERLINK "" VSP Vision Care, HYPERLINK ""Transitions Optical and  HYPERLINK "" Bess the Book Bus have launched the national “Eyecare About Reading” Book Drive competition. The Book Drive will provide free books, eye exams and glasses (when needed), totaling more than two million dollars, to children in need.  

Three well-known bloggers from across the country including Atlanta blogger Meghan Cooper from  HYPERLINK "" JaMonkey and Atlanta Moms on the Move HYPERLINK "",  will compete to collect the most books for the Atlanta area through August 22. The books will be donated to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as well as to Bess the Book Bus, a mobile literacy outreach program that travels across the country providing free books to underprivileged children in schools, shelters and community organizations. 

“Reading opens worlds of opportunities for children throughout their academic and personal lives,” shared Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus. “I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign, which will help to spread the love of reading to kids, many of whom have never had a book of their own or access to proper eye care, potentially hindering their reading skills.” 

Eye Health & Reading:
80% of what we learn is through our eyes and an astonishing one in four children have an undetected vision problem.
Approximately 20% of school-aged children struggle to read.  A large portion of these children have vision problems that interfere with their ability to read.
10% percent of school-aged children have eye teaming problems, which causes visual strain and words to appear blurred or scrambled.
While it’s recommended that children get an annual eye exam every year once they start kindergarten, it has been reported that more than 76% of American children under the age of five have never received a comprehensive eye exam.

How the Book Drive works: 
For every three books donated in the competition (either through the bloggers or online), VSP will donate one free eye exam (and, if needed, glasses fitted with Transitions lenses) to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for children without access to these services. VSP will provide up to 5,500 free eye exams in total for the campaign, a value of more than $2,000,000.
If Atlanta collects the most books Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will receive an additional 100 free eye exams (and glasses with Transitions lenses), as well as a special visit from Bess the Book Bus and the VSP/Transitions Optical Mobile Eyes clinic nicknamed  HYPERLINK "" Eyenstein

“Increasing access to quality eyecare is a priority for VSP,” said Connie Vavricek, director of industry outreach at VSP Vision Care. “To partner with organizations such as Transitions Optical and Bess the Book Bus, who share our passion to give back, increases the collective reach to make a positive impact on the life of a child.”

How to participate: 
The book drive will be from July 17-August 22.
Metro Atlanta residents  will be able to donate their new (for the safety of patients) books at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Urgent Care Centers listed below. Hours of operation for the centers is 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9a.m. to 9p.m. on weekends.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Urgent Care Centers
Children's at Mount Zion (through Friday 27th and Hudson Bridge location opens August 1)
Attn: Lisa Gaither
2201 Mount Zion Pkwy
Morrow, GA 30260-3312

Children's at North Point
Attn: Rose Weber
3795 Mansell Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022-8247

Children's at Satellite Boulevard
Attn: Katina Artis
2660 Satellite Boulevard
Duluth, GA 30096-5803

Children's at Town Center
Attn: Dana Hunter Tatum
2985 George Busbee Parkway
Kennesaw, GA 30144-6812
Children's at Forsyth
Attn: Roshonda Gideon
410 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 300
Cumming, GA 30041-7407

If you live outside of these areas, visit  HYPERLINK "", select the Book Drive Tab and make a “promise” to protect your eyes. For every promise received, Transitions Optical will donate one free book to Bess the Book Bus.   

To donate a book, visit the Book Drive Tab at  HYPERLINK ""

About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 57 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics. 

About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world.
Visit for more information. 

About Meghan Cooper
Meghan is the creator of Atlanta Moms on the Move, a free resource for parents looking for fun things to do with their kids around metro Atlanta as well as Family travel. She writes a parenting blog at and is a contributing writer to Fox 5 Atlanta's My Atlanta Moms. Find out more about Meghan Cooper are

About Bess the Book Bus
Founded solely by Frances in 2004, Bess the Book Bus began visiting schools, shelters and after-school programs in the Tampa area to distribute children’s books and host readings for underprivileged children.  Since then, Frances’ efforts have expanded, servicing more than 200 children and adults in need each week to promote literacy.  Frances gives more than 50,000 new books each year to schools, community centers and shelters, with 2011 being the record year, distributing nearly 100,000 books.  Her program continues to grow as Frances prepares for her third multi-city tour across the country.  For more information about the program, visit  HYPERLINK ""

About Transitions Optical, Inc.
Transitions Optical is a joint venture of PPG Industries, Inc. and Essilor International.  The first to successfully commercialize a plastic photochromic lens in 1990, today the company is a leading provider of photochromics to optical manufacturers worldwide.  Transitions Optical offers the most advanced photochromic technology in the widest selection of lens designs, materials and brand names. 
Transitions® lenses are the ideal everyday choice for healthy sight.  They are clear indoors and at night.  Outdoors, they automatically darken as light conditions change.  Transitions lenses provide visual comfort, and enhance visual quality by reducing glare and enhancing contrast, helping you to see better today.  Transitions lenses block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays – helping to protect the health and wellness of your eyes – so you can see better tomorrow as well. 

For more information about the company and Transitions lenses, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or (877) 254-2590 (Canada).

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