Skyline Literacy receives grant to help local Lawful Permanent residents gain U.S. citizenship

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Skyline Literacy announced it has received a Citizenship and Assimilation grant from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services.

Skyline Literacy will be able to help 250 local Lawful Permanent residents to pass the U.S. citizenship test and interview | Photo: WHSV

The grant is for $250,000, but it will be shared between Skyline Literacy and its partner, Church World Services. Skyline Literacy will receive $75,000 each year for two years from this award.

"Through this grant, we are able to help 250 local Lawful Permanent residents to become USA citizens," said Nelly Shenk, executive director for Skyline Literacy.

She said that the funds will allow Skyline Literacy to hire another person, and it will be able to expand its office footprint. They will focus more intensely on preparing people for the citizenship test, especially the speaking portion.

Shenk said that the process to become a United States citizen can cost a lot of money, and people must receive legal aid to make sure they are doing it correctly. The grant will help Skyline Literacy help others achieve their goal of becoming a U.S. citizen because they offer services for very little or for free.

Skyline Literacy is the only organization in the entire state of Virginia to receive this grant.

Bill Fisher, the President of the Skyline Literacy Board of Directors, said a year ago the organization was in severe financial need and at risk of shutting down, but the community rallied around the program with donations.

"The community support has really been vital to get us through this past year," said Fisher.

He said while this grant helps with the citizenship portion of Skyline Literacy, community support is still needed for Skyline Literacy's various other programs it offers.