The Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation and local Lions Club members will screen the vision and hearing of more than 60,000 students this year, with nearly 30,000 projected to take place by the end of November.

They are looking for community volunteers. Up to 15 volunteers are needed per day to assist with vision and hearing screenings of school children through an efficient screening process, where up to 600 children can be screened in one day. Screenings will occur daily through Nov. 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various schools; half-day shifts are available.

Onsite training is provided by staff members 30 minutes before screenings begin. There is a high demand for volunteers, particularly for the Beaverton School District. For a schedule and locations, visit the Health Screenings page at

It is assumed that children are getting their vision and hearing checked at school. In fact, the state requires sight and hearing screenings for students, but not all schools can afford it. Fifty-four of 200 school districts do not have school nurses, and about half of all districts do not meet the recommended nurse-to-student ratio. The Lions will help fill the gap.

Since 1994, the foundation has provided screenings throughout the state, testing more than 48,000 children last year. However, this only accounts for 15 percent of school children in recommended kindergarten, first, third and fifth grades.

Studies show that vision problems affect 1 in 4 school children. Since most early learning is visually based, the risk runs high of a child falling behind quickly if problems are not addressed.

Undetected vision impairment can lead to a range of limitations for a child and at worst, permanent loss of sight. The foundation refers about 17 percent of children screened for further medical examination.

The Mobile Health Screening Program provides free health screenings in every corner of the state and partners with schools and community organizations to ensure access to those who need the screenings most: children, vulnerable seniors and families without health insurance. Volunteers are asked to contact the foundation for details on the required background check at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-413-7399.

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