The Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados is a volunteer organisation of committed persons that share a common interest of service to children and by extension its community in a professional manner.  Its club follows the mandate of Optimist International which is to "Bringing out the best in Kids."

In its continued efforts to "Bringing out the best in Kids" they launched an eye care initiative called Progressive 20/20 in October of 2011 at the Bay Primary School with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the Ministry Health, which was successfully completed in April 2012.

Worldwide, statistics show that a high percentage of school children are affected by visual impairments. Some of these children suffer significant vision loss because easily treated disorders go undetected. Visual anomalies adversely affect the child's ability to participate and contribute academically and athletically. These disorders retard the overall growth and development of those afflicted.

During the pilot program, the Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados screened approximately 300 students and found that 16% of them required prescription glasses.  The principal of the Bay Primary School Ms. Marielon Gamble has graciously consented to be contacted as a source for reference at 436-6073.

The initiative starts with Optimist Club members performing vision screening sessions at a primary school to identify students who may have a vision impairment. If the screening suggests that a more detailed examination is warranted by one of the partnered Optometrists of the initiative, the student is given a letter of referral to take home to his/her parent asking the parent to take the child in for an examination.  If it is determined that the student requires glasses, the Progressive 20/20 initiative will provide that student with their prescription glasses (examination, lens and frames) at a significantly sponsor subsidized price of less than $100.

The Progressive 20/20 initiative is an invaluable part of the movement to end undetected vision disorders and prevent mis-diagnosed learning disorders and blindness in children.  This initiative has already begun to make profound changes in the lives of our children, and the Optimist movement is looking for companies and individuals who are willing to commit themselves as a sponsor to ensure that the Progressive 20/20 initiative reaches all of our children in the primary school system.

The subsidized price for the eye examination and prescription glasses is only possible through the support of sponsoring partners. 

The Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados is therefore asking that you inform and persuade companies and individuals to get involved as sponsors.  At your request a personalised sponsorship package can be delivered to any individual or company, and we hope that you utilize this opportunity to help our children. 

For our pilot program at the Bay Primary School, Longview Charitable Foundation & Longview Associates showed faith in the project by stepping up to the plate and funding the entire program inclusive of paying the full cost for ALL of the prescription glasses and examinations.  Their level of funding enabled the students of The Bay Primary School to receive their glasses free of cost.

The Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados takes this opportunity to thank the benevolent folks at Longview Charitable Foundation & Longview Associates for having faith in us and our project.   Thank you Longview!


Contact us

We are seeking Sponsors to partner with us to develop this program in every primary school on the island.

If you are interested, please Click Here to view or download a pdf file detailing our sponsorship requirements & proposal.

For additional information please contact us via email at or call Edwin Workman at 836-9004 or Simone Harris at 230-3937.