Charlottesville-area Nonprofit Helping People Become US Citizens

Posted: Updated:
Class by Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle Class by Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle
Class by Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle Class by Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle

A Charlottesville-area nonprofit is helping people who want to become American citizens.

Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle kicked off its citizenship class Wednesday, February 7, at the Jefferson School. The organization said this is the largest enrollment ever for the class.

The course is a 12-week program designed to prep green card holders for their test. The class is free, but the textbook costs $20.

"We want people to feel invested in their communities, to feel really… to belong and be part of those communities. And to be able to contribute to their fullest and to be able to do that I think it's important to be a citizen," said Paige Zelikow.

Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle also have free sessions that teach English. Right now, the group has 400 people enrolled in that program.

Release from Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle:

Charlottesville, VA – Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle (LVCA) is offering two citizenship classes this winter for adults seeking citizenship instruction. One class will be for intermediate-level English speakers, and the other for beginner-level English speakers. Classes will begin the first full week of February.

These 12-week courses will help students practice for the civics, reading, and writing parts of the exam, prepare for the interview with the USCIS officers, and learn about the N400 application.

Classes are open to community members who are permanent residents (Green Card holders) and are within two years of applying for citizenship. Students are asked to pay $20 to cover the cost of the workbook and materials.

Classes will be held at the Jefferson School City Center. The beginner-level class will be held on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning Tuesday, February 6. The intermediate-level class will be held on Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and will begin on Wednesday, February 7.

LVCA Citizenship Coordinator, Paige Zelikow, will be leading the instruction of the intermediate-level course and will be assisted by LVCA volunteer teachers.

“The naturalization process is lengthy and complex,” said Zelikow. “I am always impressed with the tenacity of our students and their dedication to achieving the goal of U.S. citizenship. We are pleased that we can help them solidify their place in our community.”

LVCA tutors and staff helped 97 students prepare for the citizenship exam in 2017. Last year, 46 individuals enrolled in a citizenship class and 14 students successfully obtained their U.S. citizenship.

Anyone interested in registering for these courses, or getting more information, can contact LVCA at 434-977-3838.