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.
Soha Awad, LCUP tutor (on the right in picture below), greeted students and parents at North Greenwood Community Center’s Back to School Event and Health Fair. She had big mouth cat and shark pictures to color and crayons to send home.
Several volunteers attended the event on August 4 to talk about ESL classes offered by the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas. We now have 14 English classes at 9 locations and individual tutors. Therefore, more volunteers are always needed.
The Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas recently received a $1,175 grant from the ProLiteracy National Book Fund. The National Book Fund makes grants for educational materials for adult literacy and adult basic education programs. These programs help teach adults to read.
The grant was used to purchase 50 Tutor books published by New Readers Press. Tutor offers step-by-step instructions for working with basic literacy adult learners in one-to-one, small group, or classroom settings. These books will be given to all new LCUP volunteers during fall and spring tutor training sessions.
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.