This year Toni Atkins took the oath as president pro tempore of the California Senate two years after serving as Speaker of the Assembly. She’s the first woman and is also the first legislator to hold both leadership posts since 1871.
With these tremendous achievements, it would be easy to assume that the Senate President must have had a trail of academic accomplishments that preceded her political career. But that is not exactly the case… or at least not until an eye exam helped changed that.
As a 7-year-old second grade student, Toni struggled to read. She was falling behind in the classroom and had to attend summer school as a result.
The Lions Club visited her rural hometown in Virginia and helped provide her access to a free comprehensive eye exam. It was then that she learned the problems in the classroom were because of her eyesight. Her family could not afford health care insurance and if it hadn’t been for this free care, her poor eyesight could have affected her academic performance that much more.
A period of time after the exam, Toni got glasses and shared that things changed at school almost immediately.
“When I put on those glasses, the first thing I did was I looked at the ground. I looked down and I saw for the first time how green the grass was. I just couldn’t believe it!” recalled Toni.
For most, eye care and eyewear are only top-of-mind when vision correction issues surface, but eye exams are about much more than just getting a prescription. Early detection of vision problems can ensure a child’s eyesight is corrected early on.
Now with the new school year underway, Toni’s story serves as a reminder of how access to vision care can ensure children can put their best foot forward in and out of the classroom.
Find an eye doctor to schedule your children’s eye exams.