MCS 2nd graders get to witness their teacher become an American!
For 2nd grade teacher Ximena and others, swearing the oath of allegiance is the culmination of a long process of naturalization that can take years. So when our 2nd grade Spanish Immersion students found out Ximena was finally becoming a U.S. citizen, they wanted to be there with her.
But they almost missed out on the experience altogether.
A Few Surprises
After a 45 minute drive, her students (and parent volunteers) arrived at the Herrick District library and made their way part way down the stairs – when they were stopped. As parent Laura explains, “An official told us we could go no farther, that the room was full and that we wouldn’t be able to witness the ceremony. We asked if we could at least see Ximena. They did go get her so we could at least say hello, give her a card and greet her before the ceremony. “
Did we say that we didn’t tell Ximena that we were coming? Surprise! She was a little flustered when staff pulled her out of line and asked her to come along with them. (Sorry, Ximena!)
While all of this was going on, a library volunteer, who happened to be an MCS graduate, saw what was going on. He talked to the library Director, who was sympathetic to our situation. As we were huddled in the lobby trying to decide what to do next, the director told us that she would fit us in somehow. Soon they announced us as a special group attending and ushered us up on the side of the platform so the kids had a better view. They told our students to cheer loud, and the man who initially told us to leave gave each kid a high five as they came up on the platform!
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
Some of the highlights of the ceremony were hearing all 30 countries listed that were represented by participants in this particular ceremony. Our students loved cheering for Ximena as they called her up to receive her certificate. The coordinators also made it a point to highlight our group of students and let them tell the audience what school they were from. They also had Ximena stand up and wave to her class.
The students loved being a part of this unique experience. As one student shared, “It was cool how many people were there and that they could all become citizens”. For many of the kids, it is probably the only time they will witness this ceremony. And they loved surprising their teacher.
Ximena was indeed surprised. She was a little overcome too (in the best way).
It has been a long, almost six year journey where I have seen how God’s sovereignty has worked upon our family. First, the doors opened for us to move from our home country and leave everything to then move to the USA in a matter of a few short months. We first arrived in December, 2013 and we were exposed to a new culture and language. We did not know where we would end up – but God had a plan for us.
Our family’s almost 6 year journey concluded by becoming a U.S. citizen and being part of this great nation. This country has welcomed me with open arms and it continues to do it for so many other immigrants that arrive from all over the world. God has facilitated this process to be smooth and now I’m very happy it is completed.
I am thankful for all my students and the parents who came and were the perfect audience for this unique experience. It certainly made it a lot more special for me to share this special moment with each of them.– Ximena
We’re happy we could support Ximena on this day. “I’m so proud of Ximena, and of our students and how they behaved,” shares Laura. “They were able to experience a taste of what becoming a citizen involves, and were able to see some of the variety of people who come to join our country. It was a great day!”