Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: January 7, 2008

  Contact: Carol Schriber

Teacher for the blind has eye-opening experience in Saudi Arabia

RALEIGH – Daniel Simmons, a social studies teacher at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, recently completed a 10-day Educators to Saudi Arabia Program (ESAP). The program was sponsored by the Institute of International Education.

ESAP is designed to provide American educators with a unique opportunity to learn more about Saudi Arabia and deepen relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Simmons was one of 25 chosen from more than 200 applicants for the two-week study-tour.

The group traveled to the cities of Dhahran, Jeddah, and Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. They attended cultural events, met with Saudi business executives, attended an ash-Shura Council meeting (the council that consults with the King of Saudi Arabia), toured schools and colleges, and spoke with women professionals in the fields of education, business and medicine.

Simmons also made contacts with Saudi Arabian professionals in the field of visual impairment and has already begun the process that will lead to an international collaboration between the Governor Morehead School and Saudi Arabian schools for the visually impaired. 

While Simmons was in Saudi Arabia, he relayed firsthand accounts of his adventures via an online blog, which he made available to students, teachers, family and other community members. Students were able to correspond with their teacher through email and Skype, a real-time video and voice-over Internet protocol.

Since his return from Saudi Arabia, Simmons has been creating new lesson plans that include sociopolitical discoveries and a presentation to be given in the near future to the Governor Morehead School and the community. 

Simmons and his wife reside in Johnston County.

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