Have you ever wondered what an online Citizenship class looks like? It’s part history lesson, conversation practice and quiz show, where students are asked:
“Who signed the Emancipation Proclamation?”
“Who started the first free libraries?”
“What was the Civil War fought over?”*
Last year, ReWA’s citizenship classes moved online. In late 2020, thanks to a USCIS grant ReWA doubled their class schedule because of increased interest in preparing for the U.S. citizenship exam.
For each 12 week session, students convene online and follow a curriculum that prepares them for the U.S. citizenship exam. On-screen, students can follow along with the text book, Citizenship: Passing the Test: Civics and Literacy, and see fellow classmates in the sidebar. Students are from Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. They ask and answer questions, and during the writing assignment, hold up notebooks to the camera so their teacher can check their spelling of words like “Lincoln” and “Emancipation Proclamation”.
Researchers estimate that helping immigrants become U.S. citizens has huge economic benefits as families invest in local economies. ReWA’s programs aim to help immigrant and refugee families integrate—socially, economically and politically. We do this through English, job readiness, and citizenship classes.
Annie Dimitras, Citizenship Coordinator said, “Our students are thrilled when they pass the test and for some, their children can get citizenship through them as well. That security for the whole family is a huge motivator for our clients.”