Monday, November 03, 2008

Teacher is inspiring in citizenship class

This adult-school teacher has helped hundreds of immigrants pass the citizenship test and many of them are voting this year. DP


Leslie Tate brings stacks of fliers that advertise her citizenship class wherever she goes. She can be found handing them out at La Bodeguita grocery store in San Ysidro, the commons room at the Villa Nueva apartments and the offices of local immigration lawyers.

Tate is one of the region's more successful teachers in a fraternity of instructors who lead immigrants, mostly from Mexico, along a journey that ends with a swearing-in ceremony as U.S. citizens.

In a little more than a year, 267 of her San Ysidro Adult School students have passed a government citizenship exam and have become or are on the brink of becoming Americans.

The number from her classes who passed the citizenship test last year was only slightly less than those who passed in the entire San Diego Community College District Continuing Education program.

Many of the nearly 400 students Tate has guided since she began teaching the classes 26 months ago in the Sweetwater Union High School District will vote in a U.S. presidential election for the first time Tuesday.

Why does she do it?

“You're making people's dreams come true,” said the educator who has taught in El Cajon, San Diego and South County for 27 years and has two master's degrees. “It's wonderful. When they pass, I pass.”
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

No comments: