Update on BIIN Programs for Fall 2021

Published by Program Manager on

Update on BIIN programs for fall 2021

BIIN is offering a full slate of programs for fall 2021.  Despite the many challenges posed by the on-going coronavirus pandemic, BIIN volunteers are working hard to maintain the organization’s three long-established programs:

  • The Information / Referral / Assistance (IRA) program: offering individualized guidance in seeking local services and resolving specific issues

  • Citizenship classes: helping people prepare for the naturalization exam and interview

  • English classes: helping people learn and practice conversational English for many purposes:  naturalization interviews, work, education, family needs or other goals

Here, we provide an update on when and how each program is operating in fall 2021, as well as links to the places where interested individuals can get more information, register for classes or sign up to volunteer.

IRA program

The IRA program provides individualized guidance for people in getting information, understanding procedures, preparing documents, and obtaining referrals to educational, legal and social services in the wider community. 

Anyone in need of assistance can stop by the new BIIN office, at 2500 S. College Avenue in Bryan, on the first and third Saturday of each month, from 2 to 4 pm.  Please wear a mask and be prepared to observe CDC social distancing guidelines.  People seeking help from the IRA program can also leave a voice message with their name and phone number at the BIIN office (979-393-8228), and an IRA volunteer will get back to you.

The IRA program is looking for new volunteers who are willing to be trained and participate in the team’s work, on first and/or third Saturdays in person and/or doing follow-up work remotely. Given the nature of this program, IRA volunteers must be bilingual (Spanish/English) or have special skills like being a licensed social worker or attorney.  If you would like to serve as an IRA volunteer, please reach out to BIIN Director Jaimi Washburn at info@brazosimmigration.com .

English classes 

In the past, BIIN has offered English instruction as part of different programs, held at various times during the week.  However, in the fall of 2021, we are only able to offer Conversational English classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (note the new time).  For the time being, these classes will be offered online, via Zoom.  Conversational English classes will begin on Monday, September 13 and conclude by early December.

These classes will continue to use the English for Everyone textbook as the basis for the curriculum, and will be divided into levels.  Anyone who can commit to attending class regularly via Zoom is welcome to register.  

If you have registered and participated in Conversational English classes in 2021, you should have already received a notification via the Remind app.  If you have not yet been notified or want to register, reach out to BIIN via Facebook, by phone (979-393-8228) or email (carolina@brazosimmigration.com).  Classes start soon, so don’t wait to register! If classes are full, we will maintain a waiting list and notify prospective students when space becomes available.

To sign up as a volunteer for Conversational English classes this fall, follow the directions on our website.  Once you are in the Volgistics system, you may sign up to help on specific dates.  You will then receive via email the Zoom link and more information about each day’s class. If you need help with Zoom or have other questions, the interns working with each class will help you.  You do not need to speak Spanish to volunteer!  Students are grateful to be able to practice and learn from native English speakers.

Citizenship classes

BIIN’s citizenship classes will resume on Saturday September 18, and will be offered online (via Zoom) for the entire 10-week cycle.  Two classes are offered on Saturdays:  one in English from 10 am to noon, and one in Spanish from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.  In a typical class, a volunteer instructor gives a presentation or lecture for the first portion, and then participants apply or practice what they have learned, working through the naturalization exam’s “100 questions” in small groups led by one or more volunteers.  Participants in these classes are highly motivated and really appreciate having the chance to interact with volunteers.  No Spanish is needed to volunteer for the English version of these classes. You can read more about the online citizenship classes here

To sign up as a volunteer for fall 2021 citizenship classes, follow the directions on our website. Before each class that you have signed up for is going to meet, you will receive via email the Zoom link and more information about that day’s class. If you need help with Zoom or have other questions, the interns working with each class will help you.

To register for citizenship classes as a participant, interested people can complete the online registration form on the BIIN website, or simply reach out to BIIN via Facebook, phone (979-393-8228) or email (carolina@brazosimmigration.com).  Classes start soon, so don’t wait to register!

Categories: Updates