The US State Department initiated the English Language Specialist program for which 80 US citizens were selected. Dr. Christine Fiorite, an English tutor at the Junior Joliet College, was among those 80 US citizens. According to the program, the specialists will assist the US embassies to deliver and maintain an overseas language program.
Dr. Fiorite provided training to the K-16 school teachers who work with the students with visual impairment. She worked with 50 teachers in Cairo and Luxor, the cities of Egypt. She said, “One of the focuses of the workshops was understanding the importance of inclusive education.” Dr. Fiorite has the experience of over 20 years in the US and abroad. She taught at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi from 2012 to 2016. She has been serving in the Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC) of the JJC for the past three years.
She said, “When I decided to move back to be closer to my family in Morris in 2016, I knew I could not be away from my family so long.” She said that she still wanted to be active at the international level. Fiorite taught the teachers to develop self-advocacy skills. She focused on the community-building activities and supportiveness between the teachers and the students with visual impairment and blindness.
She said that she made a motto for the program that ‘Alone we can do little; together we can do so much’. She appreciated the program as it provided the opportunity for her to make new relations and meet new teachers. She admired the hospitality and generosity of the Egyptians. She said, “The Egyptians were very welcoming and generous.”
Dr. Fiorite said that she enjoyed working with so many inspiring teachers. She hoped for keeping her international status on for some time. She took help from Mindy Diaz before joining the program. Diaz was the manager of JJC’s Disability Services at that time. Florite said that Diaz was a key to her successful visit.