MVIEC’s Community Empowerment and Citizenship programs encourage leadership and civic involvement while supporting immigrants through the entire citizenship process. From gathering the necessary information and documents needed to complete their applications to meeting individually with prospective citizens and assisting them as they prepare for their exam and interview, the program gently guides its participants through a seemingly overwhelming and intimidating process ensuring that they stay the course and attain their citizenship status.
In addition to supporting participants individually, this program also provides citizenship application support within a group context, by offering citizenship classes in the morning and evening and encouraging peer support.
MVIEC partners with other organizations to make additional citizenship classes available throughout Greater Lawrence. We anticipate completing over 100 citizenship applications this year. Other immigration services are available, including renewing permanent resident cards, changing status and requesting Visas for family members. We continue to work with participants after they receive their citizenship status to educate them about their civic duty and their rights as voters.
If you’d like to register for Citizenship classes, contact Karen Sheridan at 978-683-7316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MVIEC’s curriculum is created in-house following Massachusetts’s state ESOL curriculum and the Common Core curriculum.
Classes begin by focusing on mastering basic vocabulary such as personal data, alphabet, colors and numbers, adjectives, family members, household items, body parts, emotions, days of the week, how to tell time, months of the year, seasons, clothing items, money, food, occupations and more.
Students move on to grasp culture and social aspects of the language such as greetings and farewells, introductions and US holiday customs. They will learn life skills and functions such as common commands, completing personal data forms, making phone calls, preparing for a visit to the doctor. Grammar and present, past and future verb tenses follow. The entire curriculum is focused on providing basic level English necessities so that students can begin to navigate on their own.
The skills students learn in ESOL classes enable students to reach their goals, whether it is finding a job or securing a better job, taking part in school activities with their children, becoming a U.S. citizen, preparing for additional education or job training, making informed decisions about one’s health care, gaining financial literacy, or becoming an active member of the community.
MVIEC provides two Level 1 and two Level 2 ESOL classes with up to 15 students in each class, and Citizenship Clasess with up to 15 students. Most classes operate on 12 week cycles and students will be assessed at the end of each cycle to determine progress. ESOL classes are held 2 mornings or evenings per week, 2.5 hours per class. Instructors work with the entire class, as well as identify individual needs of students. Teachers communicate weekly with the ESOL Coordinator to identify additional resources for students in need.
If you are interested in joining a class, please call 978-683-7316 or email our ESOL Coordinator, Karen Sheridan, at email@example.com.
Youth Writing Workshops
The MVIEC Youth Writing Program is open to 6th – 10th grade students. They will participate in a 12 session summer workshop where they will be exposed to various types of writing and explore many styles and examples. Hands on work will include writing assignments, group sharing and project rewrites. Students are encouraged to rely on their personal experiences by writing about families, and telling their stories as recent immigrants and as children of first generation immigrants and refugees. Students will learn to master their projects and gain greater confidence in writing and communicating. At the end of this program the students will publish their works in our annual Merrimack Valley Immigrant and Education Center Review
If you are interested in joining the workshop, please call 978-683-7316 or email our ESOL administrator, Karen Sheridan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MVIEC’s Elder Outreach Program ensures that the area’s aging immigrants receive the care and respect they need and deserve. The MVIEC outreach team, comprised of bilingual and bi-cultural case managers, has strong relationships in the community and has become a trusted resource to the Elder Immigrant Community in the Merrimack Valley. The team organizes events and celebrations for the community.
Case managers provide advocacy, translation services, access and linkage to social services, and translation support for medical appointments. Case managers collaborate with Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and the Lawrence Senior Center to link seniors to life-saving and preventative services that help seniors prosper in their community. In addition, our Elder Outreach Program co- hosts meetings at the Lawrence Senior Center, where seniors are encouraged to take part in tai chi and exercise classes, work on a craft, and share a meal with peers and learn about financial literacy.
Elders can listen to speakers brought in to talk about health issues and available preventative services and screenings as well as to discuss issues affecting the elder population such as fraud, financial exploitation, and elder abuse. Helping our elders to navigate the Medicare / Medicaid arena and learn about their insurance options is also an important part of making sure they remain safe and healthy. Case managers also conduct home visits when needed and work with the children of elders to ensure they have the resources they need to make the best decisions possible for their aging parents.
Muoi Lam, email@example.com
Nikki Toeur, firstname.lastname@example.org