The Clearwater East Community Library has restarted the Citizenship Class that had been on hiatus during the library’s move to its new location.
The meetings are held in the small study room
on the ground floor of the new
Clearwater East Community Library
on Mondays at 5:00 p.m.?
Started by Claudia Gonzalez in 2017, the class continues with John Troesser conducting drills on the 100 questions needed for the Naturalization test.? In addition to the questions, explanations are given so that attendees fully understand the history and civics behind the questions.
Within its limited run, there have been two “graduates” of the program, the latest being Flor Rodriguez who became a U.S. citizen on May 9, 2018.
In the past, the citizenship program has had guest speakers to address any questions.? The class has played host to a representative from Gulf Coast Legal Services and a non-profit organization that grants low-interest loans to prospective candidates to cover expenses and fees.? Now that the program has restarted, these invitations will go out again, and personnel from the Tampa USINS office will also be invited.
Mr. Troesser says he feels privileged to have been asked to participate in this citizenship class.? “Claudia does most of the heavy lifting,” he says.? “Keeping up with the students, updating their status and whereabouts is a Herculean task.”? Claudia has recommended several students to John for tutoring and according to John:? “She hasn’t sent a bad one yet.”? They have all been exceptional.
On April 30, English conversation classes resumed in their new meeting space at Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College.? The library is located at 2465 Drew Street in Clearwater, and classes meet on Mondays from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.
Classes had been on hiatus since mid-February, so it was a warm reunion for students and tutors and a welcoming event for newcomers.? The class is led by tutors, Jan Demers (back left) and Robin Pitchford (front right).? Tutors are welcome to visit any class.? We have many students who are eager to work, one-on-one or in a small group, with an LCUP English tutor.
Tutor Carol Kennedy speaks at LCUP’s 30th Anniversary celebration
On February 17, LCUP celebrated its 30th Anniversary of Changing Lives Through Literacy at the Dunedin Public Library.? The well-attended event included the organization’s annual meeting with speakers?Pat Bauer, President, Library Director Phyllis Gorshe,? Jan Demers and Carol Kennedy.? Both Jan and Carol are members of the LCUP Board of Directors, tutors and Conversation Class leaders and spoke about their experiences in literacy.? Learner Dorotea Chavez spoke about the difference learning English has made in her life.
City Commissioner Deborah Kynes presented a proclamation from the City of Dunedin in recognition of the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas’ 30th Anniversary.? Read the proclamation here.
The following history of LCUP was presented by President Pat Bauer:
? ? ???????????? A History of the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas, 1988- 2018
The Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas grew out of increased need for adult literacy services in north county due to population growth and demographic changes in the 1980s. The council was formed by a group of dedicated citizens who were originally affiliated with the St. Petersburg Literacy Council and saw the need to incorporate the north county program. Our articles of incorporation are dated February 2, 1988.
Sister Merita has returned to Ohio, and the students and tutors of the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas attended her farewell party.? Her friend, Sister Renetta, also attended. ? Here’s the story of her life of dedication and love:
Sister Merita (left) with her friends at her LCUP farewell party.
Sister Merita Strahler
Sister Merita Strahler, SND (Sisters of Notre Dame), a resident of Dunedin for 17 years, has been a longtime teacher, advocate, and volunteer helping refugees and immigrants make a new start in this country.