Our Core Curriculum

Dear Educators, Students, Parents, and Community Members:

We are pleased to share with you both the Citizenship Counts educational program and the vision of our founder, Gerda Weissmann Klein:

A survivor of the Holocaust, Gerda immigrated to the United States and became a U.S. citizen in 1948.  She treasures her citizenship and believes that in order “to perpetuate the miracle that is America, we must teach our children about its rich history as a nation of immigrants who chose this country and have given meaning to its ideals.”  From this belief, Citizenship Counts was born.  Gerda believes that civic education, combined with active participation in one’s community and/or in a naturalization ceremony, “helps ensure that the citizens of tomorrow will continue to foster tolerance, understanding, service to one another, and a greater appreciation for the privilege and responsibility of citizenship.”

To ensure that Gerda’s vision for an educated and engaged citizenry becomes a reality, we created the Citizenship Counts lessons and educational materials. We believe that our interactive, multi-disciplinary middle and high school curriculum will not only enhance students’ academic knowledge and skills, but will also provide them with a better understanding about their rights and responsibilities as citizens of this great nation. Additionally, our hope is that the students will gain a better appreciation of the differences, cultures, customs, and beliefs of those who choose to immigrate to the United States.

We strongly encourage those of you who are educators to utilize the program in its entirety, as the lessons build upon one another.  However, we understand that scheduling does not always permit.  If you are unable to share all of the lessons with your students, we suggest using at least three or four lessons. The focus of our program is for students to gain a better understanding of the naturalization process, so the bread and butter lessons are the following: Lesson 4: The Naturalization Process, Lesson 5: Push-Pull Factors, Lesson 7: History of Immigration and Lesson 8: Preparing to Take the Naturalization Test.

We hope you that you will find our program to be a valuable resource and experience for you and your students.