Migrant Education Outreach Program

  • Suffolk / Nassau Migrant Education Outreach Program promotes the success of migrant-eligible youth in partnership with migrant parents and youth, schools and community members. The long-term goal is for families and youth to independently pursue their academic goals and graduate from high school.

    Background Information

    Congress authorized the Migrant Education Program to help migrant students face the enormous challenges and obstacles they experience in obtaining continuity in their education and completing school. Research has revealed that migrant students are considered non-resident by schools, have difficulty in obtaining short spans of instruction from schools, experience cultural and language barriers, and often lack a sense of belonging and a connection to their school and community.
    Migrant children often function two or more grade levels behind their peers. They are 20 percent less likely to continue their education past the eighth grade and have a 50 percent chance of graduating high school. Migrant children need special attention to compensate for the changes in their environment.
    The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is authorized by Title I, Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The MEP provides formula grants to the state education agencies (SEAs) to establish or improve programs of education for children of qualifying migrant workers. These grants assist states in improving educational opportunities for migrant children to help them succeed in the regular school program, attain grade-level proficiency, and to meet the challenging content and student performance standards that all children are expected to master.
    The Migrant Education Outreach Program (MEOP) was established as a mechanism to reach migrant families who live in rural and urban school districts and typically comprise a small percentage of these districts' enrollments. A variety of educational support services and programs, including family advocacy, individual tutoring, ENL classes for Out of School Youth and educational field trips are offered free of charge.
    Sponsored by Eastern Suffolk BOCES, the Suffolk / Nassau Migrant Education Outreach Program (MEOP) provides supplemental services designed to meet the educational needs of migrant-eligible farm workers and their children throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
    Migrant families on Long Island work in a variety of agricultural activities. These include nursery work; vegetable crops; fruit orchards; vineyards and other agriculture and fishing work throughout the region. Although migrant families' backgrounds vary considerably, many are of Mexican, Mexican-American or Central American descent and are native Spanish speakers. Some are Polish and Eastern European. While the children are at varying levels of English proficiency, the parents tend to be dominant in their native language.
    Some of the migrant families who reside on Long Island on a seasonal basis move between Texas, Florida and other regions of New York. Families who choose to stay in the region may work in packing houses, greenhouses, fishing / clamming or food processing plants.
    The Suffolk/Nassau MEOP may provide support to a migrant eligible family for three years following a qualifying move for the purposes of acquiring agricultural work.

    Definition of Migrant Eligibility

    A migrant/migratory child is a child whose parent, guardian, spouse or him/herself is a migratory agricultural worker or fisher and who has moved within the past thirty-six months from one school district to another to enable the child, the child's guardian, spouse or a member of the child's immediate family to obtain temporary or seasonal employment in an agricultural or fishing activity.

    Related Agricultural Activities

    • Farm activities related to field crops such as strawberries, peaches, pumpkins, apples, grapes and potatoes
    • Orchard activities related to fruit and nut trees and grape vines including sorting, picking, and packing
    • Farm activities related to the production of vegetables including sorting, freezing, and canning
    • Farm activities engaged in the production of milk and other dairy products
    • Farm activities related to the production of livestock and livestock products (ducks, chickens etc.)
    • Farm activities related to horticultural crops such as bulbs, flowers, plants, shrubbery, trees, herbs, mushrooms, seeds and sod crops
    • Fishery activities, clamming
    • Farm activities related to the harvesting and cultivating of trees

    School Year Services

    The Suffolk / Nassau MEOP provides supplemental educational services to migrant students and their families through advocacy and coordination with schools and community agencies, outreach activities, and academic tutoring in homes and at schools (as available).
    Migrant Education Specialists and Tutor Advocates provide services to families by building partnerships with families, schools and community services.
    A needs assessment on each child is completed in collaboration with the parents. The needs assessment evaluates the educational and social needs of the family, the services received from the school and the community, and recommended referrals and migrant services. Supplemental services and activities are developed with the family members and progress is assessed periodically. Services are delivered through a variety of models depending on the needs of the family.

    Summer Programs

    Students will receive supplementary academic services through the summer via an in - home model. Tutor Advocates visit the homes on a weekly basis. More frequent visits may be made for a high priority student. Educational and career oriented field trips are also offered for migrant students and families. Supplementary programming is provided for eligible migrant students during the summer. Tutor Advocates work to coordinate access to community and district-based summer educational and recreational programs.
    The Long Island Migrant Education Outreach Program also participates in services offered by the New York State Migrant Education Program at no cost to district or students. Collaborative programs include:
    GAIN (Getting Ahead in the New Millennium): for young men between the ages of 14 and 22, and WOW (Women, Options, & Work), for young women between the ages of 14 and 22 These programs provide 3-day career retreats during which participants visit career sites, talk with role models, and take part in confidence building activities and discussions.
    PASS Program: The Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) Program consists of self-contained, semi-independent study courses which enable students to earn secondary level academic credits. Participating students generally take these courses in order to make up courses, meet graduation requirements or cope with scheduling difficulties. PASS courses are designed to parallel regular academic courses offered in most schools.
    Pass Academy: The PASS Academy is a two-week residential summer program for high school migrant youth. The purpose of the Academy is for high school students to make up failed courses and/or to prepare for a Regents examination. The curriculum which is based on the PASS program meets New York State Standards. PASS Academy offerings include English, Math, Social Studies, and Health.
    Summer Leadership Institute: The Summer Leadership Conference is a weeklong residential program held each July at the State University College at Oneonta. The major goals of the Conference are to help migrant students develop leadership skills and to assist them in setting goals for their future. The Summer Leadership Conference offers students the opportunity to strengthen existing skills and to learn new ones while living in a supportive yet challenging environment.
    English Immersion: The English Language Immersion Project is a summer program held at Hartwick College providing high school students the opportunity to work on improving their English while earning partial credit towards high school graduation. Migrant students are enrolled for a two-week period in an intensive Language Immersion Residential project. Academic and social English language skills are emphasized. Project activities are designed to promote personal success in school and life. Dropout prevention strategies are also incorporated into this program.
    Additional information for Migrant Education is available on the web-based resources listed below: