Eyes On Learning

Eyes On Learning

Healthy vision is critical for a child’s overall well-being, social development, and learning. Uncorrected vision problems can impede young children’s ability to develop the early literacy skills they need to learn to read and be successful in school.

A child’s vision develops at birth and throughout the preschool years, and it is important to identify issues with eye health and vision development at a young age, because vision problems are easier to correct when treatment starts early.


Children don’t know what they can’t see.



eyes on learningWith input from local nonprofits, agencies, and philanthropies, Piper Trust established Eyes On Learning to help strengthen and expand statewide efforts that address children’s vision needs.

Eyes On Learning is dedicated to making sure that children with vision problems are identified early, through routine vision screenings, and receive a comprehensive eye exam and follow-up treatment (often glasses) to achieve better vision health.

Eyes On Learning Director Karen Woodhouse leads a coalition of state, local, and national organizations that share a commitment to vision health and learning success for all Arizona children. Its mission is to ensure every child in Arizona has access to quality eye care.

Eyes On Learning’s mission complements Piper Trust’s early literacy initiative, Read On Arizona. Through awareness, early identification, and follow-up care, Eyes On Learning makes the connection that children’s vision health is key to helping advance literacy and reading proficiency.



Arizona was one of only eight states not requiring vision screenings in public schools.

Partners in Eyes On Learning looked at all relevant data, engaged in collaborative conversations across all sectors, and ultimately developed recommendations that contributed to the passage of new legislation in 2019 that requires regular vision screenings in all public and charter schools in Arizona.

Eyes On Learning was also instrumental in bringing grants and federal funding to our state to implement the new law, including specialized devices for screening younger children and free online training for school staff to effectively conduct vision screenings and refer children for follow up treatment as needed.

Implementation of the new law begins in the 2024-25 school year. Schools are required to screen children at school entry (Pre-K or kindergarten), in third grade, and in seventh grade. Schools may also choose to screen children in other or all grades.

As a result, approximately 500,000 children annually will get the vision screenings they need.



Closing the Gap in Pediatric Eye Care: A Network Adequacy Study, developed in partnership with the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, identifies critical challenges facing children’s eye care services in Arizona:

  • Insurance Limitations: Shockingly, 74% of eye care practices in Arizona do not serve children covered by AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid insurance plan.
  • Provider Scarcity: Among the 703 eye care practices in Arizona, only about 41% provide services to children ages 5 years or younger, and 61% serve children ages 18 or younger.
  • Rural Deserts: Four rural counties—Apache, Cochise, Gila, and Santa Cruz—are plagued by an alarming lack of eye care providers that serve children.
  • Access Awareness: Surprisingly, more than 90% of eye care practices that serve children do not require referrals from primary care providers, making access easier than many realize.

Learn more at EyesOnLearning.org