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There are several holidays throughout the calendar year where we get to celebrate living in this great country.  The fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many.  It is a special day, in the heat of summer, in which many celebrate freedom with family, friends, food, and fireworks.  In May, we honor those great men and women who gave their lives in the service of this country.  In November, we get to honor those who currently serve in the military and defend us every day.  In September, we now have Patriot Day, a new day of remembrance for all those who were involved in 9/11, those who died, and those who served.

But for some, there is one special patriotic day that stands above the rest; the day they are sworn in as citizens of the United States of America. 

It’s not an easy process to become a naturalized citizen.  There are forms to fill out, fingerprinting, interviews, and tests on the laws and government.  It is a long process that is hard to navigate and prepare for.  That is where the library can and has stepped in to help.  Many branches in the Harris County Public Library system host citizenship classes for those going through the naturalization process. 

The teachers for the citizenship class are trained volunteer tutors, who to teach two hours per week.  Each round of classes lasts for three months and are free for the students.

In July 2019, a group of students finished the citizenship class at the North Channel Branch Library, and since then, two people have returned to announce that they have been sworn in as naturalized citizens.  One patron, Amalia, returned to the library just hours after being sworn in to announce her news to the staff. 

 

New citizen at library
Citizenship class student, Amalia, hours after being sworn in as a new American citizen

These are the special moments that libraries love.  We wish all those who are going through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen the greatest of luck and know that if you have questions, come to the library.  We love to help.  For those who have finished the process, and, like Amalia, have become a citizen, come in and share your news with us.  Your great accomplishment is to be congratulated.

If you want to learn more about attending citizenship classes, contact your local library.

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