A grant secured by the Boonville R-1 School District will help pay for some vision exams and eyeglasses for students in need.

The district secured a $2,500 grant from the American Association of School Administrators a few weeks ago to help about 10 students cover their eye exams, said Superintendent Sarah Marriott. The number of glasses the district can buy will be more limited, but Marriott said she’s hoping local providers can help with reduced costs.

The students would be selected through teacher referrals. The district would reach out to the parents to see if they would be interested, Marriott said. Getting eye care can often be a struggle for parents, because it’s often under supplemental insurance and may not fully cover the costs or they may only cover one pair a year, which may not be enough for young children, she said.

“Glasses get broken, frames get bent, sometimes beyond repair,” Marriott said.

The grant will help expand on the work the Lion’s Club is already doing on vision, Marriott said. Boonville Lions Club President Melissa Hampton said the group partners with local eye doctors and helps pay for glasses and exams for people in need, including children.

The main focus of Lions Club International is to promote vision for people in need. Members collect and recycle glasses for people in developing countries, Hampton said.

Locally, the Boonville club hosts its annual radio auction and uses the proceeds to pay for the glasses and exams for people in need in Boonville. This year, the club has spent more than $2,000, including buying 19 pairs of glasses, she said.

Hampton said she’s noticed a growing need for glasses over the past five years, but she doesn’t know if that’s actually a growing need or just that more people are learning about what the Lion’s Club offers. Anyone who needs assistance just has to tell their local eye doctor that they have a financial need, and they’ll have the form to fill out for a referral to the Lion’s Club, she said.