What does a painting of a mob pulling down a statue of King George III teach you about American history? The answer could help green card holders become United States citizens.

To become a naturalized citizen, a person has to be a green card holder, submit a 20-page application, be fingerprinted and pass an oral exam that requires deep knowledge of American history. The process can take six months or longer and costs about $700.

So when Karen Moore — a nanny from Jamaica who became a permanent resident in 2010 — applied for citizenship in January, she knew she needed help. “I didn’t know anything about New York history. I had been on the Circle Line, but that’s about all I knew,” she said with a laugh referring to the city’s sightseeing cruises.

At the suggestion of her employer, Ms. Moore became the first person to sign up for the Citizenship Project, a free class at the New-York Historical Society that helps green card holders prepare for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test.

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