Sunglasses at School, or S@S, is a not for profit Health & Fundraising Initiative that promotes education and awareness of the effects that UV exposure has on the eyes of children. S@S makes the best quality children’s sunglasses available to children in the school environment, in order to protect them when they need it most and to raise funds to protect the vision in South Africa’s at risk children’s future.
S@S implements The Initiative in schools by providing educational materials, informative talks and regular screenings to member schools. Children are exceptionally at risk of UV damage to eyes – 80% of your lifetime UV exposure happens before age 18, and it is this exposure that causes discomfort and irritation to children, and a wide variety of ailments that may impair vision in mid- and later-life.
S@S makes virtually unbreakable children’s sunglasses available to schools and clubs, with or without their own branding. The Real Kids Shades S@S range is bendable and twistable, black in colour to suit every school kit and made from non-toxic materials with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. All RKS sunglasses are third-party tested to provide 100% UVA/UVB protection as measured by the strictest American, European, and Australian governing bodies. The S@S range consists of 2 styles, Sport and Swag, available in 3 sizes suitable for 3 to 18 year olds. Real Kids Shades are CPSIA Compliant, CE Certified, Rx Capable and approved by The Melanoma International Foundation and PreventBlindness.org.
S@S sources School Sunglasses from Real Kids Shades South Africa, or RKS_ZA, and offers to member schools for optional inclusion in their sports kit and uniform packs – for every pair a school buys, a second pair is donated to an identified child in need of extra protection in rural, disadvantaged or dire financial situation that have undergone ophthalmic surgery, requires more protection due to albinism, various other medical reasons or participates in organised sport as a regular practice. A member school may also nominate a No Fee, Section 21 school in need that they would like to assist with vision screening and optical assistance. A Buy 1 Give 1 Movement of sorts. Funds raised from the sale of school sunglasses to member schools are used to create more awareness, reach more schools, and so create employment, donate more sunglasses to those in need and also supply scripted photochromic lenses to those children whose parents cannot afford it, so they can see clearly and be protected at the same time.
Eligible recipients are identified through optometrists and ophthalmologists that serve governmental clinics, teachers who notice vision issues in the classroom, community organisations that focus on children and members of the public who nominate children in need.
In order to expand the reach of the initiative as far and wide as possible we have established The Future Vision Foundation, where public and corporate support is gathered to enable us to reach children in the furthest reaches of South Africa. The ultimate goal to build The Future Vision Mission Truck – equipped with testing room and lens cutting lab, capable of travelling off road for days at a time, involving student and volunteer optometrists to provide comprehensive eye exams and spectacles to children who have extremely limited access to adequate health care. It’s all very simple, as little Kanya, aged 5, pointed out when we arranged much needed spectacles for her, “If I can see, I can read. If I can read, I can learn. And if I can learn, I can change the world!”
To find out how you can get involved – sign up your school, donate to the cause, nominate a school or child in need, volunteer your services – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Zulé on +27 83 295 4248
The Sunglasses at School Range – a perfect fit for every school uniform.
Click on images below to enlarge: