Volunteers from the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas attended a training seminar for adult educators, directors, volunteers, and representatives from immigrant-serving organizations.? The seminar was offered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on September 13, 2018, in Tampa.
Instruction was designed to enhance the skills needed to teach U.S. history, civics, and the naturalization process to immigrant students and to administer a comprehensive adult citizenship education program.
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.
FAREWELL, SISTER MERITA, AND THANK YOU!
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 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.
We had another awesome night at the Hispanic Outreach Center! We made cornflake-breaded chicken and orange-glazed carrots. It was a hit!