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Citizenship Counts

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Citizen Participation, Education, International, International Human Rights, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: Our mission is to educate today’s youth on the tenets of citizenship, encourage them to appreciate their rights and responsibilities as Americans, and give them an opportunity to celebrate citizenship by engaging in a naturalization ceremony or participating in a service-learning project.

Results: Citizenship Counts has a national presence amongst educators. Our curriculum and services have been utilized by schools in communities nationwide including but not limited to: Austin, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tucson, and Washington DC. Student and educator responses indicate strong student learning gains in the areas of civics and citizenship education.

Target demographics: We work to critically engage students in the immigration and citizenship process and encourage them to become responsible, participatory and socially-just citizens who appreciate the benefits of living in a diverse, inclusive, democratic country.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We have reached students and teachers in almost 40 states.

Geographic areas served: Public, charter, and private schools across the United States.

Programs: Our multi-disciplinary curriculum provides a unique opportunity for students to support government agencies in the hosting of a community-based naturalization ceremony, held at their schools. This curriculum also helps students learn about the process of legal immigration and the rights of being a citizen in the United States of America. Through our program, all citizens will have an opportunity to witness naturalization ceremonies in their communities. Attending these ceremonies will provide more Americans with a deeper understanding and acceptance of the role that legal immigration has played in creating our diverse and dynamic country. After the naturalization ceremony, we encourage new citizens to engage actively with students and members of their communities at a reception hosted by students.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts is a valuable program that highlights the naturalization process and showcases how welcoming this country has been and continues to be to immigrants. I have circled the globe both for work and pleasure and there is no place I would rather live than right here in the United States!!

I wish we had more educational initiatives like this one that are uplifting and create unity, not divisiveness. I was honored to attend a ceremony hosted at my local high school and wish all students had the same opportunity as it really puts things into perspective for all in attendance. Kudos to Gerda Weissman Klein for her vision!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you Citizenship Counts for making my citizenship day so special. The student artwork and singing was a perfect welcome to my new home country. I am now proud American and hope other new citizens can have the same memorable ceremony like me. I will never forget your warmth and hospitality for me and my family.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Founded by Medal of Freedom recipient, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Citizenship Counts, provides a civic education curriculum which is aligned to all US state standards. With easy to use lesson plans, Citizenship Counts invites the youth of America to respect the immigration process as it relates to the history and cultural diversity of our country.
The culminating activity of witnessing a naturalization ceremony and watching the new citizens take the Oath of Allegiance to the US is a never to be forgotten experience. Citizenship Counts promotes a life time of civic responsibility and inspires community involvement.
My former students always ask, "Are you still hosting naturalization ceremonies? Don't ever stop!" Thanks to Citizenship Counts, I will not!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a parent and former educator, I believe this program does an incredible job of teaching students to take pride in our country. Immigrants comprise nearly 15% of our population and it is important that we tell their stories and highlight the many important contributions they made and continue to make in our country. Thank you Citizenship Counts for focusing on the positive aspects of citizenship!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Organization has excellent resources for teachers to enhance their civic education curriculum as well as help prepare students to take the required testing to graduate. They are also the only organization that works directly with Immigration Services to bring nationalization ceremonies to schools and communities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wish a project like Citizenship Counts existed when I was in high school. Its messaging about respecting and appreciating citizenship is timeless and one that is so desparately needed today. Last year I had the privilege of watching a citizenship ceremony at our local high school. I was moved to tears by the beauty of this multi-generational and multi-cultural event. I hope to volunteer the next time that a ceremony is in our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Programs like Citizenship Counts are needed now more than ever. Our country is at a serious divide. It is imperative that we teach students to take pride in their citizenship and respect people of varying backgrounds, race, religion, and political persuasion. Thank you for creating lessons and projects where the students' learning takes on a new dimension. I hope schools across the country use Citizenship Counts. Its turn key and ready can be downloaded and used in a classroom the very same day!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This incredible organization was founded by one of my heros, Gerda Weissmann Klein. I support and believe in anything with her name attached to it as she is a role model and true inspiration! Thank you for creating this wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the importance of their citizenship!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you Citizenship Counts for your innovative and creative programming. She especially loved the Foreign Country Studies unit because she was able to research the government, culture, and economy of Brazil. She even baked a traditional cheese bread to share with her class. What an awesome way to teach about diversity and new cultures!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts, thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me in the 11th hour when I needed educational materials to utilize today for Constitution Day!! We will use your lessons every year on September 17th!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts is an incredible program that was used at my son's school last year. He was very engaged with the various activities and lessons. His learning took on a new dimension when he and his classmates were able to participate in a citizenship ceremony at their school. They enjoyed meeting people from around the world and learning about their personal journeys to receive citizenship. I hope the program is used again in a few years when my younger son is in 10th grade.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a a teacher of social studies and a member of our democracy, I am impressed with the work of Citizenship Counts. We all benefit from an educated citizenship.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of observing the Citizenship Counts staff members work so efficiently and professionally with the USCIS and Federal Court officials to undertake meaningful naturalization ceremonies with junior high and high school students jointly celebrating with the new citizens and their families. Each of my experiences at these ceremonies is unique and meaningful.
Keep up the good work!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts has inspired and supported my students to appreciate their responsibilities as citizens and to celebrate cultural diversity. Our middle school has been hosting a Citizenship Day for the last few years. The highlight of the event is a Naturalization Ceremony where fifty candidates from thirty countries take their oath of citizenship. Throughout the day, lessons designed by Citizenship Counts that are aligned to the Core Curriculum engage the seventh graders and support their learning.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Last year my son's school participated in this wonderful program. We live in a small community which usually doesn't have access to special programs and opportunities like this one. My son and his friends loved the naturalization ceremony and meeting people from all over the world as he said this inspired him to want to travel the world and help other people come to the U.S. so they can make their dreams come true. Thank you Citizenship Counts and Gerta Klein for this learning experience.

2 Sue_122

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Gerda and her group on this when she visited Laredo. We collaborated with the local citizenship groups to have our students help with the citizenship ceremony. It was a wonderful experience. I would love to do it over and over again.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts is a terrific organization that honors immigrants who choose to become naturalized citizens. The spirit of Gerda Weissman Klein and her undying love of being a naturalized American citizen speaks volumes about the organization, its intent and principles practiced at Citizenship Counts.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

At a time when knowledge of good citizenship is so badly needed, schools across the nation in recent years have abandoned those courses that provided students with this vital knowledge. Citizenship Counts has in a sense more than filled this vital void by offering teachers and their students a comprehensive and relevant curriculum that ensures students who are fortunate to have taken it in both junior and senior high receive this vital knowledge. So far in such a short time this program has spread to over 150 schools across the nation. Its success is just one indication of its quality and effectiveness.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is such an important issue, especially in today's environment . Our directors are so committed to making sure there are opportunities for all schools in the country to use the citizenship counts materials

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Anything that Gerda Weissmann Klein is involved with is incredible! She is truly a great American hero who has inspired me and thousands of my students over the years. I am excited to integrate this program in my school next semester.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love everything about Citizenship Counts! This organization is needed now more than ever. Its so important to teach our youth to cherish all of the freedoms we have and appreciate the freedoms we have so that they don't take it for granted. The lessons are awesome as they focus on themes and lessons that are real-life and that students can really relate to. They are very interactive, innovative and easy to use! Kudos to Citizenship Counts!!

1 Maureen49

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great website and so many lessons. I hope we can do more with Citizenship Counts.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts addresses the most momentous role we hold in society, that of citizen. It inspires students to become active and thoughtful participants in this democracy, and highlights the inspirational role of immgirants in our history and society.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Citizenship Counts is one of the most exciting, innovative and important civic learning programs in the nation. Citizenship Counts helps students understand and appreciate the immigration and naturalization process. The Program is very important to our youth understanding the many important contributions made by the successive waves of immigrants to the United States. Citizenship Counts is both effectively and efficiently managed. The service component of the Program is service learning at its finest. The Citizenship Counts Program makes very important contributions towards helping all young Americans develop the civic knowledge and skills necessary for engaged citizenship.
Ted McConnell
Executive Director
Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Such an interesting, innovating, and inspiring program based on the personal story and journey of a true American hero. More schools should adopt their curriculum and Mrs. Klein's story should be required reading for all Americans.