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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. These are competitive grant opportunities for organizations that prepare permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. The two programs will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by April 22, 2016..

USCIS expects to announce all 46 award recipients in September.

Since 2009, USCIS has awarded approximately $53 million through 262 grants to organizations that have provided citizenship preparation services to more than 138,000 permanent residents in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

To apply for this funding opportunity, visit www.grants.gov External link opens in new window or tab. USCIS encourages applicants to visit www.grants.gov External link opens in new window or tab before the application deadline in order to obtain the registration information needed to complete the application process.

For additional information on the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program for fiscal year 2016, visit www.uscis.gov/grants External link opens in new window or tab or email the USCIS Office of Citizenship at citizenshipgrantprogram@uscis.dhs.gov.

Source: email to the field from Adult Education Office

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organized by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.

This year's celebration took place on Tuesday, 9 February 2016 with a theme of 'Play your part for a better internet!’ The website External link opens in new window or tab showcases the many events and activities which took place across the globe to mark the day... find out what happened in your part of the world, and find contacts and resources to help you to play your part for a better internet not just on SID, but all year through.

In honor of the day Jacqueline Beauchere External link opens in new window or tab , Microsoft’s Chief Online Safety Officer, writes about safe online habits and practices and offers some general tips to make sure you’re keeping digitally up to date:

  • Defend your computer, tablet and phone. Strengthen your device’s defenses. Keep all software current with automatic updating. Don’t be tricked into downloading malicious software, and think before you open attachments or click links in email, IM or on a social network – even if you know the sender.
  • Protect personal information. Never give sensitive info (e.g., account numbers or passwords) or call a number in response to an email, IM or social network request. Think before you respond to pleas for money from “family members,” deals that sound too good to be true or other scams.
  • Create strong passwords and keep them secret. Make them long and strong, like phrases or sentences that mix letters, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different accounts and websites, especially those that involve financial information.
  • Take charge of your online reputation. Discover what’s on the Internet about you by entering your name into Bing and other search engines. Periodically reevaluate what you find, and strive to cultivate an accurate, positive reputation.
  • Take extra steps to keep kids safe online. Make online safety a family effort with a mix of guidance and monitoring. Negotiate house rules for Web and online game use that fit your child’s maturity level and your family’s values. Pay attention to what kids do and who they meet online.

Next year’s date is set for Tuesday, February 7 2017.

Safer Internet Day February 7, 2017

Source: Safer Internet Day Web site External link opens in new window or tab (accessed February 26, 2016).

Source:Microsoft Blogs: Safer Internet Day 2016: The perfect time to take stock of our online habits and practices External link opens in new window or tab (accessed February 26, 2016).

SCR 116, was introduced on March 1, 2016 by the California Senator Tony Mendoza (D), Representing District 32.

This bill would proclaim the week of April 3, 2016, to April 9, 2016, inclusive, as Adult Education Week, and would honor the teachers, administrators, classified staff, and students of adult education programs statewide for their efforts, persistence, and accomplishments.

The full text follows and can be found the CaptiolTrack page External link opens in new window or tab about the bill.

— 1—

  1.     WHEREAS, The week of April 3, 2016, to April 9, 2016,
  2. inclusive, is observed as "Adult Education Week," recognizing
  3. the unique accomplishments of California adult schools; and
  4.     WHEREAS, The Legislature acknowledges that adult schools
  5. that are provided by K-12 school districts offer quality programs
  6. to meet the ever-changing economic and workforce development
  7. and lifelong learning needs of our diverse state; and
  8.     WHEREAS, The first recorded adult education class in
  9. California was held in the basement of St. Mary's Cathedral in
  10. San Francisco in 1856. The class was authorized by the San
  11. Francisco Board of Education to teach English to Irish, Italian,
  12. and Chinese immigrants. John Swett, who was the first volunteer
  13. teacher for the class, later became a Superintendent of Public
  14. Instruction; and
  15.     WHEREAS, Adult schools, which work in collaboration with
  16. community centers and libraries, are a primary community resource
  17. for the teaching and instruction of adult literacy; and

— 2 —

  1.     WHEREAS, Adult schools provide a way for adults to complete
  2. secondary-education studies and obtain a high school diploma or
  3. its equivalent at their own pace and to prepare for and transition
  4. to postsecondary education and career training; and
  5.     WHEREAS, Adult schools provide critical opportunities to
  6. bring recent dropouts back to school; and
  7.     WHEREAS, Adult schools provide instruction to those in the
  8. state who need English as a second language and citizenship
  9. courses and play a key role in immigrant integration and the path
  10. to United States citizenship, which is important for our diverse
  11. community during this time of immigration reform; and
  12.     WHEREAS, Adult schools, which recognize that we must focus
  13. on educating parents in order to break the cycle of illiteracy and
  14. to support educational equity for all our children, provide programs
  15. in family literacy at elementary schools in conjunction with
  16. community-based organizations; and
  17.     WHEREAS, Historically, adult schools have been called on to
  18. assist the state as it dealt with significant social, political, and
  19. economic issues, such as providing job training programs during
  20. the Great Depression and training for skilled and underskilled
  21. workers during World War II; and
  22.     WHEREAS, Adult schools provide short-term career and
  23. technical training for adults seeking changes or enhancements in
  24. their career pathways; and
  25.     WHEREAS, Adult schools offer varied, market-based education
  26. programs to enhance the lifelong learning opportunities in the
  27. state; and
  28.     WHEREAS, In 2015, the Legislature and Governor Edmund
  29. G. Brown Jr. saved California adult schools from the brink of
  30. closure by establishing the Adult Education Block Grant program
  31. that is helping to restore access and programming for adult learners
  32. with planning and collaboration on a regional scale; now, therefore,
  33. be it
  34. Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly
  35. thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims the week of
  36. April 3, 2016, to April 9, 2016, inclusive, as Adult Education
  37. Week, and that teachers, administrators, classified staff, and
  38. students of adult education programs statewide be honored for
  39. their efforts, persistence, and accomplishments; and be it further

— 3—

  1. Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this
  2. resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

Mr. Johan E. Uvin, Assistant Secretary of Education for Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) of the U.S. Department of Education, visited the California Department of Education on January 13, 2016. He met with Tom Adams, Deputy Superintendent, Instruction and Learning Support Branch; Russell Weikle, Director, Career and College Transitions Division; Christian Nelson, Administrator, Adult Education Office (AEO); several AEO consultants; Adult Education Block Grant partners from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office; and local adult education program administrators from the field.

Mr. Uvin also visited one of the larger adult education programs in the U.S. at the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Along with regional representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Uvin was in Sacramento to speak as part of a Fresh Federal Perspectives plenary session at the 2016 Youth Program hosted by the California Workforce Association in Sacramento.

For more information on Mr. Uvin’s activities while in California, visit the OCTAE Website External link opens in new window or tab.

Sources: CDE AEO External link opens in new window or tab , OCTAE Blog External link opens in new window or tab (accessed February 23, 2016).

On January 11, 2015, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) released a program memorandum, entitled Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – Frequently Asked Questions External link opens in new window or tab. The program memorandum provides answers to frequently asked questions and clarifies statutory provisions related to the expanded use of integrated English literacy and civics education under Title II of WIOA.

Adult Education Office, California Department of Education encourages you to review and share this information with interested stakeholders. OCTAE will continue to post resources and information on OCTAE’s resource page, as they become available.

Source: email from CDE AEO External link opens in new window or tab (accessed January 15, 2016).

In the February Web-based Activity article Debbie Jensen writes that "Reading materials for the low level reader are often difficult to find online. Here are five Web sites that will help your student succeed, even if his or her reading level is low."

You can find step-by-step instructions and ideas for activities in the February Web-based Activity article External link opens in new window or tab