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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Prevent Blindness Northern California

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Public Health

Mission: PBNC exists to screen for vision problems in pre-school aged children in the Bay Area, to connect and provide them with better vision care, and to improve their ability to learn and grow.

PBNC offers child-focused vision screenings, follow-up care, and access to glasses, as well as training and education for health professionals to administer screenings.

Programs: SEE WELL TO LEARN
The See Well to Learn™ Eye Bus program is the only program in Northern California to employ an innovative, school‐based approach to accurately detect vision problems among low-income preschoolers, at no cost to the students. We want to ensure that these children receive the care they need for vision correction so they can enter Kindergarten ready to learn.

While the program has 6 major components, the design of the Eye Bus is a whimsical way to introduce the importance of vision care to students. Children are excited to see the Eye Bus pull up and are curious to learn more about what happens inside. While we need the community to support our vision care efforts, it’s important that the children themselves are also excited to learn about taking care of their vision.

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION & TRAINING
Building the capacity for early detection.
Our Vision Screening Certification Program provides comprehensive training on latest-evidence based children’s vision screening techniques and how to set up a successful vision screening program that will ensure children in your care receive the vision services they need. This fee-based training is approved for staff who perform children’s vision screening or need comprehensive knowledge of vision screening, such as Head Start Personnel, medical office staff, and school nurses.

The training is based on published guidelines from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health’s National Expert Panel. The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health supports the development of a public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision care and eye health for young children. The National Center is committed to conducting this work through strong partnerships, sound science, and targeted policy initiatives.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The organization has been a wonderful outlet to help give back. My child was diagnosed at a young age with Amblyopia by their vision van eye program. Because she was 3, we were able to treat it with patching and glasses. We are so grateful and have donated to this wonderful organization. Thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such a great thing you are doing. Early detection it's very important for young children's and their development.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

As a member of the Placer County Assistance League, I participated in the SEE (vision testing program) for two years. I felt that this program is very valuable in finding eye problems in Pre-School age children. The training we received to do the testing was well organized and presented in a manner that was helpful to doing the testing. I enjoyed participating in such a worthwhile program. Sincerely, Ann Montague

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's wonderful to know that we have such a dedicated organization in our community! I am continuously in awe of the great work that Prevent Blindness Northern California does with their See Well to Learn program, thank you for taking care of our children!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

PBNC's See Well to Learn program provides a much needed service to the community by screening children early in life for vision problems. PBNC is an incredibly well run, professional and easy service for preschoolers who need vision health. PBNC is such a great organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

See Well to Learn came to my child’s school and screened my child. They told me that my child did not pass the screening, so we had to have him get an exam on their Eye Bus a few days later. The Eye Bus came to my son’s school and the doctor on the bus gave my son an exam, and prescribed my son to wear glasses. Then the staff came to the school a few weeks later and gave him his glasses for free! The whole experience was easy, free and fun for my son!

Volunteer

Rating: 3

How much I have enjoyed and valued my work as a volunteer screener for the past 13 years! Prevent Blindness of Northern California was very supportive during all those years. Yet, how sad I am that they have discontinued their volunteer preschool screening program in order to concentrate exclusively on lower income children. I hope they will eventually be able to afford to broaden their outreach again.

Client Served

Rating: 4

When in need of an eye exam, I was able to get one for free from them at an event they held near my home. I thought I might have some problems because I was not seeing well at night when driving and having problems reading. During the exam, the doctor said I have a cataract that would require surgery to improve. I didn't have a doctor or insurance and they helped me find one and was able to get the operation a few month later and I am forever grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a Board Member and active volunteer for Prevent Blindness for three years. The amazing feature of this organization is the efficacy of their program. The quality of screening uncovers cases that are often overlooked by medical assistants in a doctors office. They also go above and beyond the screening stage with persistent follow-up for all cases to make sure patients are getting the care they need for a long-term solution. As a parent, their advocacy alerted me to the fact that screening for their program begins at age 3 to detect vision issues that may occur before children are screened in Kindergarten. For a child in preschool to go two years without proper vision would be a significant void in educational opportunity since 80% of learning at that age is sight. The organization proactively reaches out to schools in the Bay Area to screen on-site, offering parents and schools a convenient, quality and cost-effective screening tool so that children have the essential function of site to learn.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Prevent Blindness of Northern California screened my son Jack in kindergarten. They sent us to the eye Dr. and we found out that Jack had amblyopia. Prevent Blindness helped us correct Jack’s eyes with early detection. We will forever be grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for Prevent Blindness for the best part of decade now, and it is one of kind. It's small, just 15 staff members, but it has accomplished so much in its 50 years! They've screens tens of thousands of kids, found and cured countless cases of poor vision, and helped kids get ready to learn by making it possible for them to see in class. Sometimes its just glasses they need (Prevent Blindness provides them free). Sometimes it's a more serious problem, maybe they even need surgery to restore vision. PBNC gets them seen by an eye doctor and arranges the special medical and surgical care the child needs. As a volunteer, I've seen kids who didn't realize they could't see well (they thought everybody sees the same blur they do) and whose parents (even their doctor) didn't realize something was wrong with their sight. PBNC finds the problem by screening all the kids and referring the ones who need it to the Eye Bus, their mobile exam van. The kids get the care they need and don't fall through the cracks in the health care system. I can't say enough good things about them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PBNC is such a passionate and dedicated organization. They go out of their way to make sure that those who need help get it. As a previous volunteer, I witnessed all the hard work they put in day in and day out... And the reward of having many families come back to say thank you for providing them with vision! I've volunteered and interned at many nonprofits but everyone here is truly genuine. I love PBNC!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

PBNC, through their See Well to Learn Program, provides thousands of eye exams each year to children in need. It is obvious that the team is truly dedicated to positively impacting the lives and educational paths of as many children as possible.