Our amazing Founder, Gerda Weissmann Klein, will soon be celebrating her 95th birthday! In her honor, Citizenship Counts aims to raise $9500 to ignite our expansion into 95 new classrooms across the nation.
It is Gerda's greatest wish to give back in some small measure to her adopted country, the United States of America, for all of the blessings and privileges she has received since becoming a citizen. In her words she has said, “I love this country with a love that only someone who has been homeless and hungry as I have once been can understand.”
In 2008 Gerda Weissmann Klein founded Citizenship Counts, a national, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate today’s youth on the tenets of citizenship, encourage them to appreciate their rights and responsibilities as Americans and give them the opportunity to celebratecitizenship by hosting a naturalization ceremony at their school or by participating in service to their community.
We engage middle and high school students in our comprehensive civics curriculum that includes the unique opportunity to plan and host a community-based naturalization ceremony. This enables students to participate in the democratic process while building a better understanding of the value and responsibilities of citizenship.
Since our inception, Citizenship Counts has been incorporated into schools and community groups in 37 states, reaching thousands of students in rural and urban communities alike across the country. We are the only school-based civics program in the country that focuses on bringing authentic naturalization ceremonies into schools and other local venues.
Citizenship Counts has coordinated naturalization ceremonies at unique venues such as The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, the National Constitution Center, The Mall of America and George H. W. Bush’s Presidential Library. We also collaborated with the Phoenix Suns and U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to coordinate the very first naturalization ceremony held during halftime at a National Basketball Association (NBA) game.
Please join us in honoring Gerda Weissmann Klein and supporting her American Dream of inspiring pride in students throughout the United States!