As parents prepare their children for the upcoming school year with new backpacks and haircuts, another preparation is taking place. Dr. Douglas Major, professional coordinator for SLO Lion’s Eyes, along with other optometrists are planning to provide a high-quality vision screening at more than 50 schools in San Luis Obispo County.

Kindergarten, second, fifth and eighth grade students will be screened using a highly reliable technique developed at UC Berkeley. This screening exceeds the requirements local school nurses use to identify visual disorders. Having a clear, comfortable and efficient visual system is essential to succeeding in today’s academic environment and many learning difficulties can be prevented by early detection and treatment.  

Dr. Major has been coordinating this extraordinary effort since 1985.  

“I’m very fortunate,” Major said, “to inherit the example of some wonderful community minded optometrist that started this program in the 1960s in response to a request from a local school nurse.

SLO Lion’s Eyes is one of the longest running comprehensive eye check programs in the United States. This has only been possible because of the commitment of the local Lions clubs, school nurses, and doctors of optometry.  

Since 1999, the first five organizations have provided funds to expand the work to local kindergartens and preschools, under the leadership of Dr. Dan Hile.  Even though the screen is very effective, parents should consider a full eye exam if the child has any academic problems, Dr. Major suggested.


  • August 31 – Lillian Larson Elementary School
  • September 3 – Shandon/Parkfield Elementary School
  • September 4 – Virginia Peterson Elementary School
  • September 5 – Winifred Pifer Elementary School
  • September 6 – Georgia Brown Elementary School
  • September 9 – Kermit King Elementary School
  • September 10 – Bauer-Speck Elementary School
  • October 28 – Templeton Elementary School
  • October 29 – Templeton Elementary School #2
  • October 30 – Vineyard Elementary School