Working with local school districts, SIGHTFEST will provide day-long events offering free eye exams and glasses to qualified, low income children.

SightFest with color eye


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vision disorders are the most prevalent handicapping childhood disorder in the United States. The astounding reality is that 1 in 4 American children has a vision problem--and the number climbs as high as 50% in some underserved communities–yet research suggests 90% of those children are not wearing corrective lenses today.

Through an unprecedented collaboration between Friends for Sight, Essilor Vision Foundation and Utah Optometric Association, SIGHTFEST, a major initiative to help Utah children get the vision care that they desperately need to succeed both in and out of the classroom, is underway.

Working with local school districts, SIGHTFEST will provide day-long events offering free eye exams and glasses to children whose families cannot afford vision care and do not qualify for other programs like Medicaid. Each day of service will allow up to 125 students in need to receive a free eye exam and glasses at a location close to school.  

Friends for Sight works directly with school district nurses to provide free vision screenings. After the initial screenings are complete and those students who qualify are discovered, local Optometrists will donate their time to conduct full eye exams at a central location within the school district, and the Essilor Vision Foundation will provide frames, polycarbonate lenses and lab work to create prescription glasses. Students will have the opportunity to choose from an array of popular frames, and after a short turn around the prescription glasses will be delivered to the students at their school.

According to Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Friends for Sight, "Children need to be able to see well to read, learn, and develop social skills effectively. Unfortunately, if that doesn’t happen, the consequences can be dire."

Children with uncorrected vision are more likely to drop out of school and may go on to face lifelong struggles with literacy, low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty and crime. The purpose of SIGHTFEST is to eliminate obstacles–from financial and transportation issues, to inflexible work schedules and a lack of understanding–that prevent families from getting vital eye exams and corrective glasses for their child.

Friends for Sight welcomes community partners, volunteers and donors to join in this exciting collaboration so that vision care programs like SIGHTFEST can be expanded to reach more children throughout Utah. For more information, please contact Kate Edwards, Executive Director, at 801-524-2020 or email .


Friends for Sight works passionately each day to save sight and change lives. Our mission is to provide free vision screenings, work to ensure that people of all ages and backgrounds have access to quality eye care, and disseminate information about eye safety, threats to vision, and available community resources. Since 1955, over 1.2 million people have benefitted from the work of Friends for Sight.


Essilor Vision Foundation is a public non-profit charity established by Dallas-based Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States. The foundation’s mission is to achieve better life through better sight by creating and supporting activities that advance good vision and its benefits and offering special help to those who need it most.


The mission of Utah Optometric Association is to promote the highest professional standards and to assure that the delivery of vision care will be the finest available to patients and citizens of Utah.

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SightFest Events

   Upcoming Events:

  • 11/02/18 - SLC School District
  • 11/29/18 - Davis School District
  • 02/01/19 - Murray School District
  • 02/21/19 - Weber School District
  • 02/22/19 - Ogden School District