In Plain Sight: Reading Outcomes of Providing Eyeglasses to Disadvantaged Children

  • Many disadvantaged students with refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), do not have eyeglasses, and their reduced vision may impact reading proficiency.

  • Providing eyeglasses may increase their reading success. This article reports the findings of a study in Baltimore City in which disadvantaged second and third graders were assessed for vision problems.

  • Of 317 students, 182 were given glasses. Those who needed glasses were given two pairs, one for home and one for school, as well as replacements if glasses were lost or broken.

  • School staff assisted in ensuring that students wore their glasses, storing them safely, and replacing glasses when necessary.

  • Students who received glasses improved more on Woodcock reading measures than those who never needed glasses (ES= +0.16, p < .03).

  • The study demonstrates the potential of providing eyeglasses to disadvantaged students who need them to improve their reading performance.

Publication date

February 20, 2020


Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR)


Robert E. Slavin, PhD, Megan E. Collins, MD, Michael X. Repka, MD, MBA, David S. Friedman, MD, PhD, MPH, Lucy I. Mudie, MBBS, MPH, Josephine O. Owoeye, O.D., MPH, FAAO & Nancy A. Madden, PhD
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