Shenandoah Valley
Migrant Education Program
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The primary goal of the Migrant Education Program (MEP)

is to ensure that all migrant students reach challenging academic standards and graduate with a high school diploma or complete a GED that prepares them for further learning, productive employment, and to be responsible community members.

The Shenandoah Valley Migrant Education Program (SVMEP) is one of 7 regional programs of the Virginia Migrant Education Program. It is a federal Title I, part C program that is state-administered by the Office of Program Administration and Accountability at the Virginia State Department of Education.

The Shenandoah Valley MEP serves the public school systems in the cities of Harrisonburg and Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Fauquier, Rockingham, and Shenandoah. Our team includes 2 year-round, bilingual (Spanish/English) Migrant Student Advocates, several work-study student employees and over 20 trained volunteer tutors.

Parents and Students

Migrant Education works with the public schools to advocate for educational rights and opportunities for the children of migrant workers.

You may qualify…

If you or your child is between the ages of 3 and 21 years old and your family has moved in the past 3 years to look for work in agriculture or raw food processing. Work that may qualify you:

  • Harvesting fruits, vegetables, or tobacco
  • Dairy farming
  • Fishing
  • Logging
  • Growing or tending plants for sale (no landscaping)
  • Working with livestock or raw food products in a poultry plant

What does Migrant Education offer your children?

  • Help with school enrollment
  • Interpretation and transportation for school meetings and school-related medical appointments
  • Help relaying messages to and from the school
  • Tutors who help with school work in class or at home
  • Extracurricular educational programs
  • Information about community resources such as social or health services
  • Help with transferring to a new school
Migrant Education encourages parental involvement in child and adolescent education, provides individually designed tutoring and homework assistance, and offers educational activities to reinforce what is taught in the classroom. All services are free of charge.
Download the Eligibility Questionnaire

Teachers and Tutors

Who are our migrant students?

Migrant eligible families served in the Shenandoah Valley are families who have moved within the past 3 years in search of work in agriculture or raw food processing. Extended families or persons from the same town are commonly found in proximity, providing valuable, mutual support. It is important to note that not all migrants are Latinos, just as not all Latinos are migrants or immigrants.  While nearly all local migrant eligible students and families are Latino, there is a growing population of migrant families from North Africa and the Middle East. Our students and families have diverse origins in their culture, customs, and education. We serve our students and families with a desire for success in education, employment and a tradition of cherishing their roots while embracing opportunities for the future.

Volunteer Tutoring for Migrant Education

The Migrant Education Program relies on a dedicated team of volunteer tutors to provide educational enrichment in the homes and classrooms of school-aged migrant students. Volunteers meet with their students twice a week for one-on-one tutoring sessions that last about an hour. Tutors use this time primarily to help students with their homework; however, they are also welcome to prepare extra educational activities, games, and lessons for their students. Tutors act as an educational resource for migrant students—assisting them with their school assignments and helping them develop the skills and confidence to meet their academic goals. Volunteers are also mentors, who foster a love of learning and demonstrate positive and healthy life choices with their own example. Volunteers with the Migrant Education Program are rewarded with the opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural experience; develop their communication, language, and teaching skills; and make life-long friends in their community. Anyone with a desire to make a difference in the life of a migrant student is welcome to apply-- no teaching or foreign language experience is required! Recruitment and training happen every fall. If you are interested in volunteering with our program please download the application and return it by email to shenandoahvalleymigranted@gmail.com.

How do migrant students qualify to receive services?

Migrant Education staff distributes eligibility questionnaires annually to every school in the service region for their inclusion in enrollment packets. As families register their children for school, they complete the eligibility form. Schools then return the completed questionnaires to the Migrant Education office, where SVMEP staff review them to determine the eligibility of each family. SVMEP staff then conducts a telephone interview with a parent or guardian of each potentially eligible migrant student. If sufficient evidence of the student’s eligibility for the Migrant Education Program is determined during the telephone interview, a home visit is scheduled with the family to complete their enrollment paperwork and provide them with additional information about the SVMEP and its services. In addition to working closely with the public schools in our service region, the SVMEP also distributes fliers in highly populated migrant neighborhoods, visits local poultry plants on a bi-weekly basis, and makes annual trips to seasonal apple camps in order to identify and recruit new students.

How does Migrant Education assist students and support faculty?

Migrant Education offers year-round advocacy and supplemental instructional services for preschool and school-aged eligible students as well as young adults under the age of twenty-two, targeting the students who are most at risk due to their high mobility and/or limited proficiency in English. In service to educators, Migrant Education is able to:

  • Assist local schools and preschool programs with registering and placing students
  • Provide training for classroom teachers and administration in the areas of second language acquisition and ESL strategies
  • Provide tutors for students who need supplemental academic help
  • Mentor youth through completion of high school and establishment of future educational and career goals
  • Encourage parent involvement through home visits and assistance with parent-teacher conferences and parent meetings
  • Arrange, transport to and interpret for appointments which directly affect a child’s education or well being
  • Offer family literacy through home visits to families with preschool-aged children

Events

Check out our Summer 2009 Photo Project blog!

Contact

The Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services

Shenandoah Valley Migrant Education Program

James Madison University
MSC 9009
601 University Blvd
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Physical Address

Blue Ridge Hall 310/312,
601 University Blvd

p: 540-568-3666
f: 540-568-6374

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