Reverend Gabriel Swing and his wife Jan, with The Bahamas Youth Network, organized the visit of Dr. Chuck Monson, an Optometrist from Charlotte, North Carolina to provide vision screening to students in some of the public schools of Abaco.
The first screening was held at Patrick J Bethel High School with the seventh graders being the first to be led to the upper floor where the examinations were conducted by a team of volunteers who traveled with Dr. Monson from North Carolina. The Team was composed of Dr. Monson’s wife, Lisa, who registered the students and a group of four assistants, Shawn Bailey, Jon and Sandy Michel and Algie Grubbs.
The examination room was set up in one of the larger classrooms, with reading posters tagged to the walls and a display of reading glasses in various strength and even colors.
Students were registered and ushered into the classroom where they were screened for difficulties with near vision (reading) and distance vision (classroom board).
The students who did not pass the initial screening, were individually assessed by Dr. Monson, who conducted a more in-depth examination.
Some of the children were fitted with glasses before leaving the room.
Rev. Swing and Mrs. Swing also helped with registering and sending each student to be examined to the screening room. Mrs. Swing took many of the students’ blood pressure as they left the examination room.
The team spent two days at Patrick J Bethel High School screening all of their 600 plus students.
On October 12, the vision screening group moved to Central Abaco Primary School. On Friday October 13, the team traveled north to examine the students of the two public schools in Cooper’s Town: Cooper’s Town Primary School and S C Bootle High School.
Commenting on the results of the screening, Rev. Swing said that altogether 1100 students were examined; More than 300 of whom received prescription glasses. Dr. Monson was also able to diagnose many children with astigmatisms and other serious vision problems. They were encouraged to follow up with local doctors and eye specialists. Dr. Monson stated, “Nearly all of the students never had a screening before.”
Rev. Gabe Swing serves as the Out-Island coordinator for The Bahamas Youth Network, working with students on Long Island and Abaco. Rev. Swing also serves as the pastor of Kirk of the Pines, a church that currently meets on Sundays at 9 AM at Forest Heights Academy in Marsh Harbour.
The Bahamas Youth Network is described as a relational, Christ-centered, Community-based Youth Ministry in The Bahamas, working with churches, schools, and other community organizations to impact the youth of the community it serves.
Rev. Swing stated, “The Bahamas Youth Network sponsored this vision screening to help meet real needs in the community and demonstrate the great love that Christ has for all of the children and families of The Bahamas.”