Posted by: Janet Hughes | February 28, 2010

Flat Stanley Visits Uncle Jack

Uncle Jack welcomes Flat Stanley to Colorado!

Did you know a child struggling with reading could really have an undetected vision problem?

Thanks to my eldest son’s first grade teacher, a simple homework assignment turned the subject of reading into a great learning adventure about children’s vision.

“Members Making a Difference” this month features my wonderful Uncle Jack and Stanley Lambchop, a beloved fictional character flattened by a bulletin board who now travels the world in an envelope inspiring children and adults to read.

Colorado's famous beautiful park!

Experts estimate 80% of all learning comes through the eyes. When Uncle Jack welcomed Flat Stanley, I thought this was the perfect chance to link good vision with better reading!

My son and his first grade class loved Uncle Jack’s letter. As a father of five and grandfather to eleven, Uncle Jack enjoyed hosting Flat Stanley for the week.

Hunting for dangerous bears, fishing at 8,787 feet above sea level, visiting “Garden of the Gods,” and camping in the mountains were sights Flat Stanley did not want to miss!

Eye exams are important before learning how to read.

Every child should have an eye exam before learning how to read.

The National Eye Institute reports, “Vision disorders are the number one handicapping condition in childhood. However, fewer than 15% of all preschool children have an eye exam.”

Unfortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children have vision screenings. Read “AAP Vision Policy Gets NSF” here…

It’s important parents know that vision screenings are limited and should never replace a comprehensive exam by an eye doctor.

Learn the difference between vision screenings and eye exams. Watch my daughter Amy and me in this helpful video made in 2004 here…

Comprehensive exams evaluate eye health, visual acuity, refraction, and visual efficiency.

During a comprehensive eye and vision exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist should evaluate:

  • Eye Health
  • Visual Acuity
  • Refraction
  • Visual Efficiency

Important visual efficiency skills involved in reading include: eye tracking and peripheral vision; eye teaming and convergence; and eye focusing stamina and accuracy.

For more information on visual efficiency and another important part to the reading process called visual processing,  please visit “Vision and Reading” from

The Vision First form provides an easy to understand format.  See form here…

Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri require an eye exam for all children starting school. Illinois is also the only state at this time to require a written notice as a disclaimer before a vision screening is conducted. Learn more about “Amy’s Vision Law” here…

Uncle Jack catches big bad bear!

Thank you, Uncle Jack, for making Flat Stanley’s visit a great learning experience about children’s vision.

All children deserve to have the best vision possible for reading and learning.

Your support is making a difference!

Flat Stanley climbs Pike's Peak with Uncle Jack!

Print cut-out here…

Directions for trips here…

Order books here…

Check out tips here…

Play games here…

If you suspect a child is struggling with reading, please visit an eye doctor who’s a member of COVD, College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Learn more here…

Make a difference in the eyes of child!

Follow 3 simple steps...

1. KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

3. KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold.
Sign-up here today!

Thank you for your interest and support.

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.


  1. Great picture.

  2. This is wonderful, Janet!

  3. That’s a great article, Janet! Congratulations!

  4. Your uncle is a prize. 🙂

  5. Wish everybody had an uncle Jack !!!!

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