In 2012-13, twenty five Chatham Literacy students accepted that invitation, becoming U.S. Citizens!
Students involved in Chatham Literacy citizenship classes produced 25 new U.S. Citizens in 2012-13. Twenty-two of them voted for the first time in the presidential election, and two volunteered at election headquarters for a political party. The three citizenship classes held in Siler City and northern Chatham County served a total of 62 students. They learned how the government works, American history, and the voting processes.
After completing citizenship class, 13 of the 25 new Citizens enrolled in English as a Second Language classes to reach for new goals. They joined students from several Latin American countries, as well as Togo, Burma, and China. Fifty-one adults participated in group and individual ESL sessions over the fiscal year. Nine improved their literacy by three grade levels, three moved on to Central Carolina Community College to study for their high school equivalency (GED) certification, and three obtained new jobs. Students who took the classes also reported that they were using the library more and becoming involved at their children’s schools and in Hispanic civic groups. This is how community engagement is nurtured.