For all the talk in Tallahassee about education reform, it's good to remember that sometimes the only reason a child has a chance at success is because an educator steps outside the lines.
Campbell Park Elementary principal Robert Ovalle gets that. As the Tampa Bay Times reported this week, when Ovalle realized three dozen children at his struggling school needed glasses — but still didn't have them four months into the school year — he took action. He cajoled two local businesses, Future Optics and Eye Designs Vision, into donating free exams and eyeglasses and made sure the children took advantage of them.
Now 36 children — the equivalent of two Campbell Park classes — can at least see what a teacher writes on the board and all the richness of the world around them. All because a public educator cared and local businesses stepped up to the plate. That's how to make a difference in children's lives.