The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

August 30, 2012

Milton Bullock: Doing it for the kids

TARBORO — Milton Bullock, a Princeville native who gained celebrity status as a member of the rock n’ roll group “The Platters,” in the 1960’s, is on a mission to improve vision care among children as part of a battle against illiteracy.

Now known as “The Golden Platter,” Bullock said he plans to use his “celebrity status” as a vehicle to attract young, drug-free singers who can serve as role models for today’s generation to re-record the theme song “Do It For the Kids Today.” Bullock will use the profits from the release of the new recording of the song to purchase SPOT machines in his fight against “illiteracy via poor vision.” The SPOT is vision-screening technology developed in Germany and made by a company called PediaVision.

“I just want to make sure this technology is saturated nationally and internationally for the benefit of this world’s children,” said Bullock. “They’re still using a 150-year-old-plus method of screening in the public schools.”

In order to accomplish his goal, Bullock plans to present the technology to the United Nations and ask them to match the funds generated from the re-recording of the song, which eventually will be translated into several languages. Bullock estimated each SPOT machine costs between $9,000 and $10,000, but the impact of purchasing the machine will be “quadruple of $10,000.”

Do It For the Children’s Initiatives & Programs, Inc., a youth group founded by Bullock and incorporated as a non-profit agency in June, held its first vision screening at the Princeville Lions Club on July 27. The youth group checked the vision of 38 children and adults using the SPOT.

The SPOT can detect common vision problems such as astigmatism (curved vision), farsightedness, nearsightedness, lazy eye, cross eyes, and improper alignment of eyes. When the SPOT detects a problem, it will print out a piece of paper saying “refer,” meaning the child needs to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a thorough eye exam. The purpose of the SPOT is to diagnose vision problems early to help children reach their fullest potential and make the most of their educational opportunities.

“Between 6 months and 8 years old is my personal target market,” said Bullock. “After 8 years, all of those infractions, if they are undiagnosed, will be entombed and will negatively impact the performance of the child.”

The vision problem manifests itself in small ways at first, Bullock explained. The child becomes “disenchanted” because he/ she cannot understand what is being taught in the classroom so the child begins to exhibit disruptive behavior and is sent to the principal’s office. As the problem continues to go uncorrected, the child repeats his grade. Eventually, the child might end up dropping out of school due to frustration and end up on the streets, in a gang, and possibly in jail, said Bullock.

“It [SPOT] will change academically the way our children are currently seeing things,” he said. “You need all of your organs, mainly your eyes, to help you develop academically…When we are better educated, it helps us perform as better citizens.”

The Princeville native has seen that minorities are more apt to have undetected problems with vision because of the lackadaisical atmosphere in which they live.

“It’s just something that lies dormant,” he said.

Bullock stated that the purpose for his international humanitarian efforts is to leave a legacy of positive impact on people’s lives and ultimately to receive praise from his Heavenly Father, the source of his vocal talent.

“I have never had a problem communicating with people, regardless of their nationality. It is a gift from the Lord,” said Bullock, who began singing at the age of 6.

His children’s organization, Do It For the Kids, has already received donations from the Valdese Leo Lions Club, the Virginia Lions Club, Savage Nation and Kid’s Organization, to name a few.

Those interested in supporting Bullock’s cause can contact him at: Do It For the Children’s Initiatives & Programs, Inc., P.O. Box 375, Tarboro, 27886.

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