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Back to School, Abroad!

Genie’s Listening and Spoken Language Journey Continues in British Columbia

You may remember Genie, a Clarke alum, who this fall continues her listening and spoken language journey at a mainstream kindergarten classroom in British Columbia.

“Genie came to Clarke with less than 20 words—and today she is speaking in multi-word sentences and chatting with friends,” explains Alisa Demico, director of Clarke Florida. “It’s been a joy to see her come so far. I’m confident she has a bright future ahead filled with academic and social success.”

Genie’s journey at Clarke began when her family moved almost 8,000 miles—from the United Arab Emirates to the U.S.— to access Clarke’s Birth to Three and Preschool Programs in Florida. “We originally planned to travel to Florida for one month to work with the Clarke team, but after one session with Alisa we knew that Clarke was where she needed to be,” explains Angela, Genie’s mom.

During Genie’s three years receiving in-person services at Clarke, she accomplished major strides and made a lasting impression on many. In 2019, Genie and her family moved to British Columbia. Despite being more than 2,800 miles away, the family remains active at Clarke—receiving speech therapy with Alisa once a week via distance learning. Genie even participated in the virtual summer program during the month of July with the Clarke Florida team and friends despite a 3-hour time difference. “The virtual summer program was a great help, especially during the pandemic, and gave Genie some final preparations for Kindergarten,” expressed Angela.

“We can’t give enough thanks to the wonderful staff and ‘Clarke family’ that we will always be part of,” explains Angela. “Genie was very confident on her first day of Kindergarten. She was so excited to get to class and just couldn’t wait to make new friends.”

Hear Genie’s listening and spoken language journey at Clarke in this short clip. (Produced in 2019)

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