USCIS grant recipients have demonstrated impressive creativity and innovation as they use grant funds to promote citizenship and immigrant assimilation in their local communities. The program success stories highlighted below illustrate the important work of immigrant assimilation undertaken by USCIS grant programs throughout the country.
Citizenship Through Art in Overland Park, KS
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas was founded in 1956 and provides a broad range of services including emergency assistance, family stabilization, family strengthening, hospice care, healthcare, and refugee and immigration services at a number of locations. The organization elevates student learning outside of the classroom through two unique partnerships with local museums, where students engage in a four-part “Citizenship through Art” field trip curriculum, viewing relevant artwork and artifacts that provide background on civics knowledge and English language learning. [Read more.]
Celebrating Citizenship in Fresno, CA
Fresno Unified School District began their ESL and Citizenship Program in 1989, providing a range of times and locations, as well as childcare options, to meet the needs of their students. When the district’s Adult School received a 2014 Citizenship and Assimilation Grant, they began to invite former students to return to class to not only celebrate their citizenship, but to give them the opportunity to share their success with current students. [Read more.]
In-Home Citizenship Tutoring Program in Lexington and Louisville, KY
Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) was founded in 1990 with the mission of resettling refugees in Louisville, Kentucky, and the surrounding region. When citizenship program staff recognized that some students were facing barriers preventing them from attending the regularly scheduled citizenship classes, KRM developed an in-home tutoring program, where they match high-needs students with community volunteers who bring the citizenship preparation services to them. [Read more.]
Learning About American Life in Queens, NYThe Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) has a long history of helping new immigrants assimilate into their new communities while learning about the culture and history of the United States. With USCIS grant funds, EIIC continues to teach lawful permanent residents about American life through visits to local museums, holding a Citizenship Day picnic, and celebrating Thanksgiving with a multicultural potluck dinner. [Read more.]
Exchanging Cultures with West Point Cadets in Brooklyn, NY
For more than 10 years, the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach has hosted a cultural exchange with the United States Military Academy for its citizenship students and the local community. Twice a year, around 80 cadets studying Russian have joined 120 predominantly Russian-speaking students for a face-to-face exchange in both English and Russian. [Read more.]
Walking Through History in New York, NY
Every day across the East Coast, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East are helping Americans to give birth, get lab tests, live longer in their own homes, and navigate the healthcare system. As part of an assimilation activity, fifteen home health aides who are students in 1199SEIU’s USCIS-funded Citizenship Program took some time to learn how to navigate around New York City, experience American history first-hand, and gain confidence to explore new places—all while learning English. [Read more.]
Interacting with the Government in Salt Lake City, UT
The English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) knew their students needed help navigating local and federal government agencies and learning how to interact with those agencies. To that end, ESLC facilitates class discussions on real life interactions with the government and welcomes immigration services officers from USCIS to conduct mock interviews with their students. ESLC also invites speakers from law enforcement, mental health organizations, affordable housing programs, and local libraries to present to its citizenship students. [Read more.]
Giving Back Through Volunteering in Apopka, FL
Volunteerism is a defining value of American civic life, and for many immigrants, the type of organized volunteerism they encounter in their new homeland has a distinctly American flavor. At the Hope CommUnity Center’s citizenship classes, students learn about a variety of civic engagement opportunities. Many volunteer while they are studying for the naturalization test and continue volunteering after they become U.S. citizens, often staying engaged at Hope CommUnity Center because they are grateful for the support they received on their way to U.S. citizenship. [Read more.]
For additional stories about our grantees in action, read more.
Program in Action
See photos of the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program.