Press Releases

Senator Warner Engages Virginia Students on Immigration Reform

Releases lesson plan in collaboration with UClass, UVA

Nov 20 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has released a lesson plan entitled “Speak Up for Immigration,” which encourages high school students across Virginia to develop more informed perspectives on immigration reform and participate in the democratic process. As part of the unit, students will write a policy brief to their local, state or federal elected officials on how to make improvements to our immigration system. Warner teamed up with the global lesson exchange platform, UClass, and the University of Virginia (UVA) class Educating for Global Citizenship to create the module.

“As members of an increasingly global society, it is vitally important that students have platforms like UClass to share ideas not only with the person sitting next to them, but with individuals in other communities, cities, states and across the world,” said Sen. Warner. “This collaboration challenges our young people to think about tough questions on immigration reform. I am excited to hear from Virginia’s next generation of leaders through this lesson plan.”

Charlottesville High School, which will serve as the flagship school for this lesson, currently has students affected by the outcomes of immigration reform. Tina Vasquez, CHS ELL teacher who co-developed the course, said, “About 10% of CHS students are born in another country. The Global Citizenship course provides an opportunity for refugee and immigrant students to draw upon their own experiences, cultures, and languages as a resource, to teach their American-born peers about global issues from a personal perspective.”

Carol Anne Spreen, professor of UVA’s Educating for Global Citizenship class, said, “In the class we have a diverse group of twenty university students, as well as twenty high school immigrant, refugee and honor students working together... What could be a better way to inform and bring about policy change?”

“This collaboration with Senator Warner and the forum on UClass is a meaningful way for students to express their thoughts on key issues, such as immigration reform,” said Robin LeRosen, a graduate student in Spreen’s class.

Sen. Warner will speak via videoconference with students at Charlottesville High School on December 4, 2013. School leaders and teachers interested in getting their classrooms involved can visit