Summer school program helps migrant students stay on track

NORTH DAKOTA (KXNETName) — When migrant workers come to work in states, such as North Dakota, often they also bring their families.

Migrant students are at risk of falling behind in school due to frequent family moves.

This is where the Migrant Education Program Between.

“The children are here for a whole day. From 8 a.m. to about 3:25 a.m. They are served breakfast, lunch and a snack. It’s a Title 1 program, so we focus on teaching in small groups: reading, writing, math,” said Amanda Fuller, migrant school coordinator for Manvel Public School and teacher at the school. of PASS migrants.

Nearly 50 years ago, there were nine schools in our state offering summer migrant programs, and now there are only two in Grafton and Manvel.

The program is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and teaches extra academic support to children up to age 21, through a seven-week in-person program and a two-week extended program.

“Throughout the country, there are regular annual programs and summer programs. In North Dakota we only have a summer program. Obviously because our growing season is, with winter, very short compared to other states. So we just have a summer program,” said Judy Gries, administrator of the North Dakota Migrant Education Program.

Last year, 215 students were enrolled in the summer migrant program. This year there are 228.

“I would say we’ve grown since I’ve been here, I know it’s grown,” Gries said.

Fuller says this program is important for students to stay on track with their schooling.

“Many of these children are losing their education. They’re falling behind on travel and just their culture and moving like that, some of them really struggle with reading. And the language barrier can be another. Many of our Mexican children speak Spanish. It takes time for them to understand both languages. The older ones are doing pretty well, but it can be tough for the younger ones,” Fuller said.

Gries and Fuller say they have returning students, new students, and students from generations of migrant workers who participate in the program.

One of the resources used in the summer program is MigrantLiteracyNet, which is a free online tool that can teach literacy skills to children whether they are migrants or not.

Another website used in the Migrant Summer Program is a high school credit builder designed for Migrant Education Program (MEP) students called Portable Supported Study Sequence, or PASS.