Adopted by Mesrobian School, Pico Rivera, California
For the second year in a row, Mariam Samoniantz’s 9th grade homeroom class at Mesrobian School emptied spare change from pockets, purses, and wallets into a large jar each day for three months to provide eye screenings and eye heath education for their peers around the globe at Yerevan School No. 105. “I felt good knowing that my small change benefited another Armenian in a significant way,” said 9th grader Nora Gourdikian. The news of their good deed spread around the school and students from all of the grades began to participate-eventually bringing the total to $1,500. “My 9th grade class wanted to help their brothers and sisters in Armenia,” remarked Samoniantz. “We choose the Armenian EyeCare Project because the gift of sight is the most precious gift of all.”
The AECP medical team screened 320 students and found that 35 children had existing eye problems. The students with eye problems will receive follow-up treatment, which can include an extended eye examination, surgery, medications, and/or eyeglasses. These services will be provided at no cost to their families.
In addition to the screenings, the younger students were treated to an interactive educational puppet show featuring Doctor Tesunik and highlighting the importance of eye care. Third grader Silva Yemenyan liked the puppet show very much. “Doctor Tesunik told us how to keep our eyes healthy and now I want to have healthy eyes,” she said. The older students learned about the anatomy of the eye and created colorful eye models-one of which will be sent to their friends at Mesrobian School as a gesture of appreciation.
Bella Sukiasyan, Schoolmaster of No. 105, was “impressed and touched” that the Mesrobian students gave their lunch money to help others in need. She said her students became more attentive to eye care following the visit. And, more important, “they were given an example of compassion and are ready to exercise it themselves-the 7th grade class at Yerevan No. 105 decided they will gather money to support eye screenings for orphans and the elderly in their community.