Constitution Week Observed Year Round for Literacy Learners

by Ida Fay Winters, - GPLC Coordinator

Observance of Constitution Week will run from Sept. 17 to Sept. 23. The Great Plains Literacy Council adult learners wanting citizenship must study about the Constitution. Not only during this week, but throughout the year, those immigrants study about the American government, democracy, and our freedoms covered in the Constitution, the most important document in the United States. The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787 and is also known as a “living document” because it grows and changes as America and its people grow and change.

The Immigration and Citizenship LSTA grant with the Great Plains Literacy Council and Southern Prairie Library System has provided tutoring opportunities for immigrants desiring naturalization in the United States. One literacy learner Sergio Lopez took advantage of the free resources from the USCIS and literacy tutoring through the Great Plains Literacy Council at the Altus Public Library and recently returned to express his appreciation and return some of the study materials. Sergio is thankful for his assistance through the process. Aleida Burchett became his first tutor in May 2014. Then Steve Francis gave guidance with his study.

When asked why he wanted to become a US citizen, Sergio replied, “This was something I just wanted to do since I lived here.” He was the first one of his family members, who were born in Mexico, to get the citizenship.

Sergio and his family came to Austin for three years. Then they moved to Altus when he was 14 years old. His dad said he like it here as the traffic was better compared to Austin, so the family settled in.

April 24, 2015, is a date Sergio will never forget. His citizenship ceremony in Oklahoma City was very meaningful on that date.

“The USCIS flash cards and the curriculum study curriculum from the literacy council provided most of my study materials,” said Sergio. “Now that I am finished with this goal, I want to return the materials so others will have the chance to become US citizens.

He has worked at Bar-S Sigma Foods Company in Altus for 7½ years in the blend room preparing the spices. In order to obtain his citizenship, he had to miss several days of work to visit the USCIS office in Oklahoma City.

Mr. Lopez is now registered to vote in elections. He is looking forward to that responsibility, privilege, and freedom.

by Ida Fay Winters,

GPLC Coordinator

Reach Ida Fay Winters at

Reach Ida Fay Winters at

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