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Naturalization Ceremonies

One way that federal courts celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which is officially observed on September 17, is to participate in a naturalization ceremony for new citizens. These ceremonies are also conducted throughout the year at federal courthouses, community landmarks, historic sites, and civic gathering places.

Students Welcome New Citizens to Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities

Federal courts conduct citizenship ceremonies, which are open to the public and may be attended by hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. These important civic events, conducted in courtrooms and at sites in the community, present an educational opportunity for promoting public understanding of the federal courts.

Schools may want to approach their local federal court to ask if they can volunteer as part of a service-learning project. The following are activities that some courts bring into their ceremonies.

School Participation: Options for students range from simply observing to taking an active part in the event. Examples include students:

  1. Serving as the color guard.
  2. Leading the Pledge of Allegiance and/or a patriotic song.
  3. Writing and delivering welcome letters to the new citizens at an appropriate time before, during, or after the event.
  4. Reading a personal essay related to the occasion.
  5. Greeting participants in a receiving line.
  6. Presenting the new citizens with flags.
  7. Staffing tables with information about jury service, voter registration, and community volunteerism.
  8. Conducting podcast interviews with new citizens.
  9. Interacting with people from countries whose language they are learning.

Community Involvement: Civic organizations also may want to participate in citizenship ceremonies in some of the ways described here. Sometimes local members of Congress participate in naturalization ceremonies. On occasion, the media covers the events.