SAN CARLOS, Calif. and TAMPA, Fla.—XP Health, developer of a digital-first vision benefits platform, has announced the formation of "20/20 VISIONaries: An XP Health Social Impact Initiative," a new program to combat childhood illiteracy. To kick off the initiative, XP Health will begin with a donation of prescription glasses to help at least 100 low-income children in Tampa, Fla., with plans to grow the program to larger numbers of children in subsequent years, according to the announcement. XP Health is partnering with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, whose YMCA Reads! literacy and mentoring program for kindergarten through third grade students works to improve a child's reading to achieve grade level performance.

The recipients of XP Health's initial prescription eyeglass donation attend Sulphur Springs PK-8 Community Partnership School in the Head Start program, located in north central Tampa, where many children don't have access to vision care, the announcement stated. The children will participate in the same digital experience as any XP Health member: visiting the digital platform, engaging in a virtual try-on experience personalized for each child based on face scan and style preferences, and choosing their prescription glasses. XP Health's all-in-one digital platform uses AI to precisely match users to recommended frames based on their unique size, shape and style preferences, the company said.

The finished prescription eyeglasses will be delivered to the students by the end of April, the announcement stated, in time for state standardized tests. An additional cohort of students will also receive prescription glasses during July, ahead of the new school year.

Eye Q Eyewear, Inc., a local Tampa Bay-headquartered company, is donating one pair of eyeglass frames for every child participating in 20/20 VISIONaries at the Tampa YMCA this month. Participants will pick out their favorite pair from a variety of Dr. Seuss-branded eyewear, a brand that emphasizes building confidence and improving literacy for children. Eye Q is providing the frames free of charge to XP Health for prescription lens fulfillment.

"Vision is one of the most underserved areas for our families, so being able to close this gap with XP Health in service to childhood literacy means so much to us and the families we serve," said Candace Culver, VP of community partnerships for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. "This will reduce a key barrier to reading and improve literacy rates."

"One of the barriers to being able to read is access to prescription glasses, and XP Health is proud to contribute to alleviating the problem by raising awareness of the need for childhood vision care and providing greater access to eyeglasses," said Antonio Moraes, CEO, and co-founder of XP Health. "20/20 VISIONaries pairs our company's core expertise and purpose-driven mission with the need to build understanding about how crucial vision care is in order to facilitate good reading skills and successful lives."