When Noriko entered the Midland Need to Read program in August of 2002, her goal was to obtain her citizenship. Noriko was born in Japan. After meeting and marrying her husband in Japan, Noriko moved to the United States. Noriko had lived in Midland for 11 years caring for her family and raising her three children. Becoming an American citizen was very important to Noriko, but she also wanted to improve writing and English vocabulary to help her children with their school work. Noriko asked a friend about achieving her goals and the friend referred her to Midland Need to Read.
Noriko was tested, enrolled and matched with a volunteer tutor and began to meet twice a week to study for the citizenship test and work on English skills. On June 15, 2003 Noriko passed her citizenship test and realized her dream of becoming an American citizen. Her tutor hosted a citizenship party at Midland's Need to Read Literacy House for Noriko. Friends and family were very happy to share in Noriko's success.
Soon after becoming a citizen, Noriko attended a workshop presented by Midland Need to Read on voter registration. Noriko registered to vote in September, 2003, and voted in her first election in January, 2004. Not only is Noriko a citizen, she is an active voting citizen. Noriko says, "I am not planning to go back to Japan. America is my home and the home of my family. I want to be a citizen and the best American I can be."
Noriko enrolled in a English composition class for non-native speakers at Midland College. She also trained to be a Midland Need to Read volunteer tutor this year and has been matched with an adult learner from Laos. Noriko enjoys helping someone learn English. We at Midland Need to Read believe Noriko is achieving her goals and are very proud of her. A good citizen is one who participates in their community and gives back to the community. Noriko is the perfect example of a good citizen.
About the Author
Patti Groce has been the executive director of Midland Need to Read in Midland, Texas for the last 17 years. She has a Masters in Reading from University of Texas Permian Basin and is a reading specialist. Prior to her adult literacy work, Patti taught secondary English and reading in both public and private high schools.