Legally blind Poplar Grove siblings surprised with special glasses

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The gym of Manchester Elementary School in Poplar Grove was filled with students sharing their gifts of song Monday night. Students hosted a concert where they sung Disney inspired pieces. But, the concert was more than sharing the importance of music.

“I don’t think people realize what a benefit it is to see everyday,” said John Long, parent of students Jack and Colleen Long. Both of his children are diagnosed with rare forms of myopia causing them to have trouble seeing in the classroom.

“Reading, trying to read what was on the papers, which we didn’t realize it was that hard for them,” said Jack and Colleen’s mom, Shannon Long. Their impaired vision only allows them to see ten feet in front of them. But Monday, that was no longer the case.

“Jack and Colleen’s eSight classes have been fully funded,” said Manchester Elementary Principal Molly Lilja in a surprise announcement. Through a donation made by the Parsons Foundation, Jack and Colleen were given eSight glasses. The glasses use a high definition camera in the center to capture what the user is seeing in real time.

“I can’t stress enough how amazing it is to be able to know they’ll be able to see their classmates, their teachers, their surroundings around them and to be able to do the same things that other kids do that they haven’t been able to do,” said Shannon Long.

Both Jack and Colleen are excited and look forward to seeing more, like baseball games. Their parents now want to make sure more children like theirs are given a chance to see.

“You are now able to let them see what you see and that’s a amazing right there,” said Shannon Long. “We want this to be able to help everybody so we plan on following this through and continuing to fundraise for this,” John Long added.

The Long family and Manchester Elementary plan to raise money for 13 more children to have eSight glasses. They hope to have the funding available by Father’s Day. To learn more and to donate visit www.TogetherWeSee.com.

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