The Vermont Migrant Education Program provides educational support services to eligible children of families that relocate in order to obtain seasonal or temporary employment in agriculture and to eligible out-of-school youth that have moved to obtain seasonal or temporary agricultural employment.
These free services can include free books, tutoring, homework support, English as a second language support, summer programs, and referrals to local resources. A child/youth is eligible up until their 22nd birthday or until they obtain their high school diploma or its equivalent.
In Vermont, migrant families who qualify for the Migrant Education Program (MEP) under federal guidelines work in such agricultural-related fields as: dairy farming, fruit orchards, vegetable fields, food processing plants, nurseries, and logging.
Children of migrant workers and adolescents that are working independently are among the neediest and least visible of Vermont’s population groups. Because of their transience and isolation, it is easy for these students to fall out of step academically and socially.
The Vermont Agency of Education in conjunction with the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and local supervisory unions serve these children through the federally funded Title I Migrant Education Program. The primary goal of the Migrant Education Program is to locate all migrant children and families in the country and provide supplemental educational services to those who are either struggling academically or socially in their school environment, or provide educational services to those who may currently not be attending school at all.
The federal Migrant Education Program was initially created as part of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty in the 1960’s. Currently running strong across our entire nation, Migrant Education Programs serve hundreds of thousands of migrant students each year.
In the state of Vermont, the MEP is run by the Vermont Agency of Education and provides the supplemental educational services once the students are identified as eligible. In its efforts to identify all migratory children in the state, it has contracted with University of Vermont Extension as the source for the program's identification and recruitment outreach. UVM Extension MEP recruitment staff work closely with the Vermont Agency of Education, supervisory unions, local schools, teachers, parents, community service agencies, the UVM Extension network, and, of course, the agricultural community. Local supervisory union and their contracted partners provide direct supplemental educational services and identify and connect with other local resources to enable eligible students to succeed academically.