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Great Glasses Play Day is Almost Here!

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The Great Glasses Play Day, which is being held August 5th and this upcoming week around the word! It is not only a chance for children of all ages with glasses to get together, but also a chance to educate about the important children’s vision and proper eyewear for kids. This fantastic idea is an effort of both my friend Ann Zawistoski from Little Four Eyes site and Kristin Ellsworth from Peeps Eyewear and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.

You can read lots of good press coverage of the Great Glasses Play Day here. But I am glad to bring you an interview with Ann and Kristin here. Enjoy! – Dr. Nate

Dr. Nate: How did the idea for the The Great Glasses Play Day come about?

Kristin: For me, it came about shortly after my daughter was diagnosed with strabismus and amblyopia. We were thankful her vision impairment was caught early. We had a positive attitude toward our daughter getting glasses. However, many of my friends’ and family’s reactions were less than enthusiastic. I wanted to change that. Our culture has shifted it’s attitude toward getting braces, why not glasses? I am hoping to do that with my ideas for children’s eyewear and I imagined a day when children will be running around parks and schools proudly wearing corrective eyewear and every parent will know about the importance of early child vision health.

Ann: When Zoe first got glasses, I kept hoping I’d run across some kind of play group or get together for kids with glasses, but never really found anything. Then I started Little Four Eyes, and the idea was always at the back of my mind. Here were all these wonderful people with kids in glasses, and we’re all connecting on line, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to get together in person? Especially for our kids who often don’t know other kids their age in glasses. The idea of a day to celebrate kids in glasses came up about year ago in the Little Four Eyes facebook group, so I started asking around if people were really interested. Kristin called me and said she’d always wanted to do something like this, and let’s make this happen! So we ended up combining the ideas, the day is really focused on celebrating our kids with glasses and their improved vision, and what better way to celebrate than to have ways of meeting in person and online?

There are a lot of great messages you are trying to convey about children’s vision and eyewear. If you could narrow it down to one, what would it be?

Kristin: For me, it would be that “it is great to wear to glasses!” I’m hoping we send the message how lucky we are our children’s vision health can be addressed early and that advancements in eyewear enable our children not only to see clearly but express themselves. Many parents are unaware that 1 in 20 preschool children require vision correction. I didn’t know it, and many of my friends didn’t either. The Great Glasses Play Day will hopefully not only be a day to celebrate but also help increase awareness about this important issue.

Ann: It’s similar for me. I hear from so many parents who have just learned that their child needs glasses, and they’re often very upset by the idea. I was too! I think it’s in part because there just isn’t recognition of how prevalent eye issues are and how important it is to treat them. I really want this day to focus (pun intended) on the positives of glasses and contacts and patching. How wonderful that most of these issues are treatable! How wonderful that our kids can see better!

This is truly an international event. How did the event in China get organized?

Kristin: My eldest daughter took mandarin language lessons through her public school. Our family became friends with her tutors and their families who loved the idea of the Great Glasses Play Day so much that they reached out to friends and schools in China.

Are you planning on doing it again next year?

Kristin: Absolutely, and we hope to get help from others! There are so many great ways families, organizations and eyecare providers can celebrate! We hope Great Glasses Play Days will not only be fun but will help put early childhood vision health on everyone’s radar–all over the world.

Ann: I cannot wait to do this again! The response has been great, and I think there’s a lot we can build on in future years! I really hope that we can have more in-person events so that more of us can meet and connect, but I look forward to expanding the online celebrations, too.

Anything else you want to add?

Kristin: I want to thank you, Nate, and all the organizations, companies, and innovators that take the time to help children and their families with their vision health. Every child has a right to see clearly, enjoy the world around them and learn all that they can from an early start. Healthy vision is truly a precious gift.

Ann: In addition to everyone that Kristin mentioned, I’ll add a big thanks to Kristin who has really put so much in to making this happen. I know that there’s no way the Great Glasses Play Day would have become a reality without everything she’s done. And I also want to thank the hosts of the get-togethers around the world. Everyone has been doing this on a volunteer basis.
Kristin: Well, I know there’s no way it would have happened without Ann! She has brought so many parents together through Little Four Eyes and getting our kids together couldn’t have happened without her!

3 responses to “Great Glasses Play Day is Almost Here!”

  1. Ann says:

    Thanks Nate! We’re very excited for all the celebrations to begin!

  2. Ros says:

    Bravo to Ann & Kristin! They’re a fabulous team! 

  3. Karen Samson says:

    What a fantastic event and a great way to get kids excited about eye health!

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