Little kid smiling while holding a children's book

All about Pupils Project

In 2015 we expanded our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program with the creation of Pupils Project. Through this school-based vision program, we work with local organizations and government agencies to give free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren in the United States—for many of whom this is their first pair.

Little kid smiling while holding a children's book

All about Pupils Project

In 2015 we expanded our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program with the creation of Pupils Project. Through this school-based vision program, we work with local organizations and government agencies to give free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren in the United States—for many of whom this is their first pair.

Little kid smiling while holding a children's book

All about Pupils Project

In 2015 we expanded our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program with the creation of Pupils Project. Through this school-based vision program, we work with local organizations and government agencies to give free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren in the United States—for many of whom this is their first pair.

Little kid smiling while holding a children's book

All about Pupils Project

In 2015 we expanded our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program with the creation of Pupils Project. Through this school-based vision program, we work with local organizations and government agencies to give free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren in the United States—for many of whom this is their first pair.

Boy getting his eyes tested

How it works

We partner with a number of organizations and local government agencies to conduct vision screenings and eye exams right in the students’ classrooms. This model helps eliminate barriers to access by providing free prescription glasses and meeting children at school, where teachers are often the first to spot vision issues.

On our side, we provide prescription glasses, designed by our very own team, specifically for these students. Everyone (at every age!) deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their glasses, so we offer over 100 options to choose from.

Boy getting his eyes tested

How it works

We partner with a number of organizations and local government agencies to conduct vision screenings and eye exams right in the students’ classrooms. This model helps eliminate barriers to access by providing free prescription glasses and meeting children at school, where teachers are often the first to spot vision issues.

On our side, we provide prescription glasses, designed by our very own team, specifically for these students. Everyone (at every age!) deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their glasses, so we offer over 100 options to choose from.

To date, Pupils Project has distributed 227,000 pairs (and counting!) to students across the country, from Boston to the Bay Area—and many cities in between.

Overall, over 15 million pairs of glasses have been distributed worldwide through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.

Partnering for good

As part of our Pupils Project program in Baltimore, our partners at Johns Hopkins University spent years studying the impact of school-based vision interventions on academic outcomes—essentially, the effect glasses might have on a student's performance in school. This is a topic that had never been studied in a rigorous academic setting before, and we were proud to partner with Hopkins to provide the glasses for this first-of-its-kind work.

The study, which was published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Ophthalmology in 2021, found that reading scores increased significantly for students who got glasses—and there was also significant improvement in math for students in elementary grades. The improvements were most striking for girls, special education students, and students who had been among the lowest performing.

Little kid wearing their eyeglasses
Little kid wearing their eyeglasses

Partnering for good

As part of our Pupils Project program in Baltimore, our partners at Johns Hopkins University spent years studying the impact of school-based vision interventions on academic outcomes—essentially, the effect glasses might have on a student's performance in school. This is a topic that had never been studied in a rigorous academic setting before, and we were proud to partner with Hopkins to provide the glasses for this first-of-its-kind work.

The study, which was published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Ophthalmology in 2021, found that reading scores increased significantly for students who got glasses—and there was also significant improvement in math for students in elementary grades. The improvements were most striking for girls, special education students, and students who had been among the lowest performing.

Girl Posing with Head Resting on Hand

The overall gains for students who received glasses were equivalent to adding two to four months of education onto the school year; for students in the lowest quartile or participating in special education, wearing glasses had an impact that equated to four to six months of additional learning. In comparison to other widely used educational interventions, the impact of eyeglasses is larger than that measured for providing students with computers, extending the school day, or attending urban charter schools. For students performing in the lowest quartile at baseline and those in special education, the impact from eyeglasses was even more powerful than tutoring.

Girl Posing with Head Resting on Hand

The overall gains for students who received glasses were equivalent to adding two to four months of education onto the school year; for students in the lowest quartile or participating in special education, wearing glasses had an impact that equated to four to six months of additional learning. In comparison to other widely used educational interventions, the impact of eyeglasses is larger than that measured for providing students with computers, extending the school day, or attending urban charter schools. For students performing in the lowest quartile at baseline and those in special education, the impact from eyeglasses was even more powerful than tutoring.

Our ultimate goal is for every student in the country to have the glasses they need to succeed in school and life.

We’re constantly exploring ways to bring Pupils Project to new cities and partnerships. Reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested in collaborating.

A collage of images of kids reading books, wearing eyeglasses, and playing.

Want to learn more about our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program?