53 adult English language learners from the LSS Center for New Americans had the privilege of visiting South Dakota’s capitol this month. This is such an exciting opportunity for our students that we received 100 applications for these 53 seats.
These 53 learners are from 14 different countries: Burma, Guatemala, China, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Bhutan/Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Mexico and El Salvador.
About 60% of these LSS adult learners came to the US with refugee status. About 40% came as immigrants.
The goals of these learners are:
- To become self sufficient communicators in English
- To get jobs and advance to higher education and training
- To become United States Citizens
This civics education field trip was sponsored by the Department of Labor and Regulation. The Department partners with the LSS Center for New Americans to provide adult education and literacy services in the Sioux Falls community.
The learners visited with legislators, toured the capital building, observed proceedings in the house and senate chambers and visited the Cultural Heritage Center.
Having fled the impacts of persecution and injustice, the adult learners deeply treasure the freedoms and democracy of this great nation and the great state of South Dakota. It is, in fact, a dream come true for them to visit our state capitol. They are grateful to be residents of South Dakota, to have the opportunity to raise their families, work and contribute to a safe and welcoming new home.
written by Laura Smith-Hill, Education Program Coordinator