Education Spotlight: Migrant Education Program helping students across Merced County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In ABC30's segment, Education Spotlight, Action News Anchor Landon Burke will talk with Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) officials about some of the biggest topics in education.

Frequent relocation can make it hard for migrant students to keep up with their education.

Landon Burke spoke with two organizers from the Migrant Education Program about services available to help.

Landon: I want you guys to tell me a little bit about the services that the migrant education program offers.

Amelia Jimenez: Well, the Migrant Education Program is a federally-funded program. We're region three, so that covers Merced, Madera and Stanislaus counties. They're operated through the Merced County Office of Education. Through that, our services are supplemental services. So that would range from academics to enrichment programs to health services to family engagement. So we kind of run the gamut.

Richard Braun: Qualifying for the Migrant Education Program is based on moving. So the parents move, and the children have gaps in their education. So our ultimate goal is to try to fill up those gaps so that the kids can keep on track, either to graduate or to get a job that will help them be successful. Because the ultimate goal so all those services that Amelia was listing off, that's why we provide this. Families and students who, because they're moving a lot, following the crops are following where the jobs are, they're not on track to graduate. We tried to help them get back on track.

Amelia: We also go out to camps. We recently completed, we call them "Family Math Nights." We went to the camps, and we had teachers out there who talked about engineering. The focus was on engineers and engineering. Richard is one of the coordinators that led that program. And so he would have more detailed information on how that went.

Landon: Yeah, tell me about that. Richard.

Richard: Yeah. It was really a fun opportunity because the ones that live in the farm labor camps, they come from out of state and sometimes from out of country. They're present for six months, and then they leave again. So they really don't have a stable education system for their family, for the family or the students. So what we tried to do was set up opportunities for the families to do an engineering project with their kids at the same time. We've seen, like most educators have seen, you engage the parents in the education of their children. The children are going to be more successful. We had four different activities that we did at four of the different camps across our region in Merced, Atwater, Los Banos and Empire.
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