Jackson Lion Lawerance Sandy places a “I got my eyes screened today” sticker onto a happy Gaston Elementary 1st grader as Music Teacher, David Shaw, looks on.


101, not trombones or Dalmatian puppies. 101 is the number of Northampton County Elementary School students who are in immediate need of a professional eye exam to correct vision issues. 

During the week before Thanksgiving, with help from school nurses, Lions from Lake Gaston and Jackson screened all Northampton County Elementary School students for potential vision issues. In the 3-day effort, a total 509 students were screened at five schools across Northampton County. All pre-K through 5th grade students at Central Elementary, Gaston Elementary, and Willis Hare Elementary were screened, along with all of the 6th graders from Gaston and Central Middle Schools. Among the 509 children screened, 101 of them were identified with a vision issue that needs to be checked out by a professional. 

In a totally darkened room, the camera captures an image of the eyes from a non-threatening three foot distance. Within seconds, the on-screen data results of any student with a potential vision issue can be printed for confidential referral to their parents or guardian. 

School Nurses Florissa Privott, Lisa Rose, and Mitzi Taylor sent notifications to the parents or guardians of the 101 students in need of a follow-up eye exam. 

We encourage parents and guardians to follow-up by taking their children for an eye exam as recommended by their school nurse. A large majority of referrals are easily correctable with glasses. Catching a vision issue early and following up is critical to a child’s performance in school and of course life. 

Vision Screening is by far and away the largest ongoing service project lead by the Lake Gaston Lions. The Lions have screened well over 4,500 students so far this year and they’re not done yet. Lions don’t just help the blind, they try to help everyone see just a little bit better. 

Lion Gene Finch has led and grown the effective program since it began in 2016. With the help of a sophisticated $10,000 camera, we can quickly and easily detect vision issues on children as young as 6 months. 

Lions from Lake Gaston rotated duties throughout the week to help Gene screen all Northampton County students up to the 6th grade. As in prior years, Jackson Lion Lawerance Sandy, was also there to help Gene at each and every school throughout the week.

An annual vision screening is important for everyone, but in particular for children whose young eyes are still developing. 

Not to be underrated, perhaps the most important part of the screening process is getting the “I Got My Eyes Screened Today” sticker from one of the Lions when the student is done. 

Lions is open to both men and women wanting to help others in meaningful ways. Our simple motto is “We Serve”. For more information speak with a Lion around the Lake, email Inga Tracey in Membership at, or visit our website at