Celebrating Citizenship: Rockwall County Library’s Reading for Adults program recognizes 28 new U.S. citizens

An 88-year old new citizen (second from left) and her family member (far right) stand with RFA Citizenship Tutor Susan Laszynski and Lady Liberty (Jan Self, Chair of the American Committee, Rock Wall Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution). Photo by Carol Cease, Literacy Coordinator.

ROCKWALL, TX (June 13, 2022) The Reading for Adults Literacy Center, part of the Rockwall County Library, celebrated 23 years of the RFA program and honored 28 adults who recently passed their exam to become a United States Citizen.

Each new citizen was recognized and awarded a certificate and US flag during a June 11 reception at the library. The Rockwall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented patriotic gift bags to each new citizen.

 

“We are changing the world, one word at a time. Initiatives that change people’s lives and a community for the better begin with a great idea. It succeeds by people working together in response to the need. That has certainly been the case of the Reading For Adults literacy program,” said Carol Cease, RFA Literacy Coordinator.

Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance was led by Boy Scout Troop 83. Gloria Bishop, Founding Literacy Coordinator and RFA Advisory Board member, shared the history of the RFA program. Gail Lasky, Barbara Matthews, Jamie Rubush and Debbie Weigant performed America the Beautiful and This Land Is Your Land. Carol Childress, former Citizenship Tutor and RFA Advisor Board member, gave remarks on the role of being a citizen. Peter Hancon, RFA Tutor, led the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Ana’s Catering, COSTCO, Lakeside Florist, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Party City contributed to the celebration.

To date, 128 adults have become citizens with the RFA’s Citizenship classes. The RFA Literacy Program began in late 1999, to fulfill the need for English as a Second Language adult classes in the community. GED classes were added that helped adults obtain a high school equivalency degree. A third program of Citizenship Education evolved to assist students prepare for their written and oral citizenship exams. Adult Literacy was added as a fourth part of the program. The classes, led by community volunteers, are free to attend with a nominal fee for books.

More than 60 tutors have been trained and contributed thousands of volunteer hours to assist the ESL, GED and Citizenship students annually. Classes are held at the library and in classroom space donated by the adjacent First United Methodist Church Rockwall.

Funds for RFA Literacy Program include gifts from Friends of the Library, foundation grants and scholarships, private donors and fundraisers. For more information, call 972-204-7705.

Blue Ribbon News staff report.





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