Do you remember how many amendments the Constitution has? What kind of government does the United States have? How many justices are there on the Supreme Court?
These are the kinds of questions Altus resident Susan Simons, a native of the Philippines, answered correctly on an oral U.S. history and government test for citizenship at the Naturalization Service in Oklahoma City this summer. The examination also included an interview over these questions to determine if she could understand and speak English as she is a native speaker of the Visayan language of the Philippines. Because of her passing these examinations along with a background check and having been a legal permanent resident for at least five years, she took her citizenship oath at a ceremony on July 25 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Oklahoma City.
“When I married Ronald Simons, an Air Force enlistee, I used my ‘Green Card’ that entitled me to permanent US residency with immigration status. I have lived in the United States since 2009 and wanted to be a citizen for a while,” said Mrs. Simons. “I am very happy and excited to be a new American. I used to be fearful that I would be asked to leave this country as an immigrant and leave my family here”.
Her road to citizenship began June 12, 2013 when she and her husband Ronald Simons visited the Great Plains Literacy Council at the Altus Public Library. Mrs. Simons began her literacy journey with her tutor Mary Bitney shortly after that visit. The weekly one-to-one tutoring concentrated on history and government studies. All of these sessions were conducted for this adult learner at the Base Library.
Mr. Simons said he was very appreciative of the literacy help for Susan this past year as he was TDY for six months. “Her tutoring sessions helped her so much when I was gone, and Ms. Bitney developed a friendship with her”.
To find out more about literacy services from the Great Plains Literacy Council, contact the Altus Public Library, 421 N. Hudson, or call 477-2890.