Annoucement Regarding Citizenship Test Relieves Stress on Students and Staff

Maria G. obtained U.S. Citizenship after preparing with her tutor and enrolling in our small-group classes.
Our citizenship students and tutors were very happy to hear the recent news that USCIS is withdrawing the new version of the citizenship test due to concerns that may have created barriers to naturalization. 
The new civics test, which had been announced in late 2020, had increased the pool of questions from 100 to 128, keeping only 40 of the original questions, and it increased the number of questions applicants would need to answer correctly. The new test had also been put into effect for new applicants after only three weeks advance notice, as compared to the full-year notice that was given the last time the test had been revised.
About two-thirds of the students who are currently taking citizenship classes with us would have had to switch over to learn the content for the new test, despite the fact that they had already begun preparing.
We are thrilled to be able to continue to focus on preparing all of our students for the original 100 question test. 

Save-the-Date for the Festival of Cultures

While pandemic has forced many annual events to postpone for a second year, the Festival of Cultures announced a virtual event for 2021. Cultural exhibitions, live events, and community collaborations are lined up for May 7–13.
"This family-friendly event is virtual this year and includes music, dance, cultural presentations, and storytelling through permanent exhibitions, interactive discussions, and live-streamed performances," says Festival organizers. "The event is an opportunity to build bridges of understanding between new Americans and established residents and between different cultures residing in our community."
We are excited to join the Festival of Cultures as a Community Collaborator. Stay tuned for more details!
To learn more about the Festival of Cultures visit their website or follow them on Facebook for all the updates. 

Program Updates: Welcoming New Tutors and Students at Limited Capacity 

Justin N. points to his home country, The Democratic Republic of Congo, during his recent new student intake.
At the start of the pandemic, we stopped enrolling new students and training new tutors. Our program shifted to helping those currently in our program stay connected in the new virtual landscape. We offered countless hours of workshops, tech support, Zoom calls, and check-ins with tutors and students to provide support wherever we could.
Like many organizations and individuals, we changed our operations. Technology and virtual instruction allowed us to reach more people in multiple ways. Our virtual Citizenship class enrollment quadrupled. Sixty-six new volunteers trained virtually to tutor. And now, one year into the pandemic, we are ready to start accepting new students at a limited capacity.
Starting in February, we resumed scheduling intake appointments for new students. At this time, we can only enroll eight to ten new students each month. As our tutor training sessions continue to grow and COVID-19 restrictions are loosened, we hope to increase that number each month. 
While we are not prepared to say when we will fully reopen our building and resume normal operations, we are excited to start welcoming new faces into our program. 

New Information Sessions and Training Dates for Prospective Volunteer Tutors

If you have ever thought about becoming a volunteer tutor, we invite you to join us for an upcoming Information Session or Tutor Training. Information Sessions provide a quick overview of our program and volunteer requirements. While they are not required before registering for tutor training, they will help you decide if our program is a good fit for you.
Click on any of the months below for more information and to register. All sessions are held on Zoom. Please let us know if you have any questions about training or becoming a volunteer tutor by emailing
Information Sessions:
  • March: Thursday, March 11 | 10:00–11:00 a.m. or 6:30–7:30 p.m.
  • April: Thursday, April 1 | 10:00–11:00 a.m. or 6:30–7:30 p.m.
  • May: Thursday, May 6 | 10:00–11:00 a.m. or 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Tutor Training:
  • MarchSaturdays: 13, 20, 27 | 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • AprilTuesdays: 20, 27, 4 | 6:00–8:00 p.m.
  • MayThursdays: 20, 27, 3 | 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m
Visit our website to learn more about becoming a literacy volunteer.
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