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Local efforts taking shape to help protect your eyes during the solar eclipse

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The first trans-continental solar eclipse in North America since 1918 is now just one month away. Our body has a natural response to look away from the sun each afternoon, but that natural response may go away in a case like this.

Dr. Torrey Carlson refers to this as aversion. In a case like the solar eclipse, though, he says that "Your willpower can go past aversion and look straight at it because you want to see this thing."

As an optometrist and a member of the community, he's doing his part to make sure that kids are viewing this safely.

"We're ordering thousands of glasses to bring to some schools that we chose. We'll speak to some classes and hand out glasses to all students and faculty."

You CANNOT view the solar eclipse with just normal sunglasses.

Dr. Carlson says that that could result in solar retinopathy, in which your retina is essentially burned by the sun's harmful rays. Yes, that can even happen when the sun is blacked out!

The Johnson City Public Library has ordered a thousand pairs of glasses. They'll start handing some out on August 1st, but will have 300 saved for an event they'll be hosting on August 17th.

Then, there's Jane Carter. She's a chemistry teacher at Eastside High in Wise County, and has helped fundraise for an astronomical amount of glasses.

""A little over 12,000...12,600 glasses. And included in that total will also be a few extras, so that the schools will have the opportunity if they want to to invite a few parents to help out."

12,600 glasses is enough to so supply the students, faculty and staff in all of Wise County, Russell County, and Norton City Schools.

For more info on where you can get these eclipse glasses, click here.

*Sponsors included in fundraising of 12,000 solar eclipse glasses.*

- Paula and John Mason

- April Fletcher

- Amy and Mike Burke

- Kate Hibbitts

- Lakeview Union Church

- Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church

- Karen Gilmer

- Fort Gibson United Methodist Women

- Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma

- Women's International Network of Utility Professionals SWVA/NETN Chapter

- Barbara Parker

- Diane Tomlinson

- Russell County Schools

- Norton City Schools

- Wise County Software Engineering Education Initiative

- Napoleon Hill Foundation

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