The Ross Foundation awarded two grants totaling $135,820 to four programs offered through the West Virginia University Extension Service and the WVU Eye Institute.

These grants will benefit individuals of all ages in counties throughout West Virginia.

Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program (CVRP) – $17,560– This Ross Foundation grant will be used to continue a clinic providing comprehensive medical eye evaluation and low vision rehabilitation assessments, optical and assistive technology and training, instruction and consultations, teacher training, and support through mentoring and community support through education and action. These tools help teachers, parents and students develop educational plans for school-aged children with incurable vision loss.

Bioptic Clinic – $18,260 – In West Virginia, drivers are able to use bioptic devices to obtain a driver’s license. However, the process of obtaining and learning how to use the device can be difficult. This clinic will prescribe the bioptic device for the patient and offer a fit and follow-up session. The state mandate requires driving school and a training session for use of the bioptic device. Device training and preparation for driving school are offered to a patient through this clinic. For some residents in rural areas, public transportation is not accessible. The bioptic device will help individuals to become more active in their communities and the workforce by being able to drive.

Retain, Retrain and Recruit Mentor Program – $10,000 – The goal of this program is to increase the number of professionals in the vision field. Through this, professionals will be able to access education, training, support, and technical assistance. Support is also available to parents and professionals who want to learn more about vision impairment.

Energy Express – $30,000 per year for three years – This grant to WVU Extension Service will benefit six Energy Express sites in Wood and Ritchie Counties. These programs, also supported by AmeriCorps, provide a learning experience for children during the summer months and prevent the loss of learning progress often referred to the “summer slide.” The learning goals model that of West Virginia educational content standards, with a primary focus on increasing literacy rates and reading comprehension. The Ross Foundation grant will be used to support Energy Express for the next three years.

The Ross Foundation, located in Parkersburg, W.Va., is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing funding for organizations in Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, Pleasants and Jackson counties. Assistance is awarded to organizations that focus their efforts in education, community development, the arts, disabilities and animals.

These two gifts from The Ross Foundation were made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.



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