The Literacy Council of Reading-Berks announced Wednesday that it received a $250,000 grant to provide Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services to expand the availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services for immigrants in Berks County. This award is one of three issued in Pennsylvania, and one of fifty issued across the United States.
Aldea – The People’s Justice Center will collaborate with the Council to provide citizenship application services to Lawful Permanent Residents.
Naturalization requirements, such as knowledge of English and U.S. history and government, encourage civic learning and build a strong foundation upon which immigrants can fully integrate into society.
Through preparing for naturalization, immigrants gain tools to become successful citizens and meet their responsibilities as United States citizens.
Approximately 19% of the residents of Berks County are foreign-born, according to the 2019 American Community Survey. This grant will allow the Council and Aldea to work with 200 immigrants in the next two years.
“This award is the largest-ever grant awarded to the Council in its 54-year history,” said Ryan A. Breisch, Executive Director of the Council.
“We are proud to be able to promote the integration, inclusion, and citizenship of 200 immigrants over the next two years. This is a substantial boost to the Berks County community,” Breisch added.