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NH Migrant Education Program

The New Hampshire Migrant Education Program (NH MEP) addresses the unique educational barriers faced by migrant workers and their families. Migrant students are some of the most disadvantaged children and youth nationwide. Many are out-of-school, and those in school are often at risk of failing or dropping out due to frequent moves, cultural differences, and language barriers. In fact, research shows that each change in school can set back a child or youth’s education by four to six months. For out-of-school youth, they may face additional problems such as social isolation, lack of knowledge of resources, or incomplete schooling.

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The New Hampshire Migrant Education Program (NH MEP) addresses the unique educational barriers faced by migrant workers and their families in the state. Migrant students are some of the most disadvantaged children and youth nationwide. Many are out-of-school, and those in school are often at risk of failing or dropping out due to frequent moves, cultural differences, and language barriers. In fact, research shows that each change in school can set back a child or youth’s education by four to six months. For out-of-school youth, they may face additional problems such as social isolation, lack of knowledge of resources, or incomplete schooling.

The NH MEP is authorized and funded by Title I, Part C of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. The purpose of our program is to ensure that migrant students have equal opportunity to reach challenging academic standards and graduate with a high school diploma or equivalent. Our goal is to prepare these students for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment. We do this by identifying and providing supplementary educational services to eligible migrant children and youth in the state of New Hampshire. Additionally, the NH MEP ensures that migrant children and youth who move across district or state lines are not unfairly penalized by disparities in curriculum, graduation requirements, or overall academic content and achievement standards.

Our Students

The NH MEP serves approximately 150 migrant students annually. These students come from the United States as well as countries like Mexico, Nepal, and Guatemala. In order to be eligible for services, students must be between 3 and 21 years old, and not yet earned a high school diploma or equivalent. The NH MEP serves eligible out-of-school youth, and the children of families that have engaged in seasonal or temporary employment in the agriculture or fishing industries.

It is important to note that migrant does not necessarily mean immigrant. While the NH MEP primarily serves migrant students from Latin America, any child or youth may be a migrant student independent of their nationality, ethnicity, or race. This includes families that have lived in the United States, or even New Hampshire, for generations.

Our Program

The NH MEP serves on average 150 students annually from over 14 countries, including the United States. Our qualified staff members identify eligible students and confirm the eligibility of referrals through a home visit. Once eligibility is determined, our staff will assess the student’s needs and connect them with individualized supplemental services.

Services can include one-on-one tutoring at a student’s home or local school, referrals to service providers, and assistance with school supplies. For out-of-school youth we provide tutoring in skills necessary for future success, such as goal setting, HiSET preparation, English as a Second Language, and personal finance. Services are designed by our staff and qualified volunteers to bridge specific gaps in learning and academic opportunity.

Get Involved

Help with our mission to assist migrant children and youth to succeed academically. We need the help of community members for referrals or to become involved in our volunteer tutor program.

Please refer any families, children, or youth you think may be eligible to us as soon as possible. Please note that referrals are safe and confidential, and services are provided independent of legal status, nationality, or language spoken.

Eligibility

Eligibility in the New Hampshire Migrant Education Program (NH MEP) is based on 5 factors: age, school completion, residential move, purpose of move, and qualifying work. Children and youth may receive services for 3 years after a qualifying move, until they have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent, or until their 22nd birthday.

Age: A child or youth must be 0-21 years of age to qualify. They are not eligible for services until their 3rd birthday and cease to be eligible after their 22nd birthday.

School Completion: A child or youth must also qualify for a public education under state law, and, therefore, cannot have earned a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Residential Move: A child or youth must have moved within the last 36 months (3 years). To be considered, the move must have been from one school district to another, involved a change of residence, and been motivated by economic necessity.

Purpose of Move: The move must have been to seek or obtain qualifying work, or to join or precede a guardian or spouse who has moved to seek or obtain qualifying work.

Qualifying Work: The work must be seasonal or temporary, and be related to agriculture or fishing. Qualifying work may pay in the form of wages or personal subsistence.

Personal Subsistence refers to consuming a large portion of the agricultural products they produce or fish they catch as food due to economic necessity.

Agricultural Work is defined as the initial processing of crops, dairy products, poultry, or livestock. The cultivation and harvesting of trees is also considered agricultural work.

Fishing Work is defined as the catching and initial processing of fish, as well as the raising and harvesting of fish on fish farms. Fish refers to all aquatic wildlife, including shellfish.

Please contact us if you think you may be eligible, would like to make a referral, or have any additional questions about eligibility. Visit the Services section to learn more information about what free services eligible students can receive.

Services

The New Hampshire Migrant Education Program (NH MEP) assists migrant children and youth who have moved within the last 36 months (3 years) for agricultural or fishing work.

The majority of students receive services for an hour a week during their free time. Generally, NH MEP tutors go to a student’s home or give classes remotely using Skype. Students under the age of 18 who receive in-home tutoring must have a parent or guardian present during their lessons. To further ensure the safety of our families, we ask all of our tutors to obtain background checks.

The NH MEP collaborates with Migrant Education Programs (MEP) in neighboring states, and is part of a national network of MEPs that can be found in almost every state in the United States. This ensures that once students are identified they will have access to similar assistance, even if they move across state lines.

We offer a variety of services to students dependent on their individual needs, including:

  • Tutoring Services (at home, at school, or via Skype)
    • Homework and subject-specific support
    • Computer literacy
    • Personal finance
    • English as a Second Language
    • HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) preparation
    • Preschool tutoring (3 years and up)
  • Summer Classes
    • Credit redemption services
      • Bilingual classroom TA Support
  • Academic Materials
    • Computer loans and internet access
    • Test fees (HiSET, etc.)
    • Books, notebooks, calculators, etc.
  • Referral Services
    • Utility access
    • Healthcare
    • Legal assistance
    • Other services
  • Mentoring
    • Worker’s rights
    • Job applications
    • Parenting classes
    • Goal setting
  • Child and Family Advocacy
    • Speaking with teachers and administrators
    • Transcript translation
    • Interpretation

Get Involved

Help us with our mission to empower migrant children and youth to succeed academically. We need community members to help with referrals or become involved in our volunteer tutor program.

Student Referrals

Please refer any families, children, or youth you think may be eligible to us as soon as possible. Please note that referrals are safe and confidential, and services are provided independent of nationality or legal status.

Many of our referrals come from local teachers and school personnel. You know your students and community best. Send us a potential family’s name and contact information, or tell them to contact us directly. Once referred we will determine eligibility through a home visit, and connect these at-risk children and out-of-school youth with much needed supplemental educational services and community resources!

Employer Referrals

Please contact us if you know of any businesses in your area that may employ fishing or agricultural workers! In New Hampshire, most of our eligible migrant workers are employed at dairy farms, nurseries, Christmas tree farms, logging operations, food/meat processing plants, or similar businesses.

Many times, our qualified staff members contact New Hampshire businesses directly to raise awareness about our program and identify eligible families and out-of-school workers. The NH MEP does not interfere with local business schedules and tailors services to students’ schedules. We provide services independent of the nationality or legal status of the workers, and all information reported to us is safe and confidential.

Volunteer Tutor Program

We recruit volunteer tutors on a rolling basis to work one on one with migrant students in our program. Our volunteer tutors assist students in a variety of subjects, including English as a Second Language, Mathematics, HiSET Preparation, and general life-skills. Tutors volunteer a minimum of 1-2 hours a week, and a minimum 3 month commitment is preferred. Classes are given in our students’ homes or at their local school. We do our best to accommodate our tutor’s schedules and find a placement that is convenient for them.

If you are interested in applying, or wish to learn more about our volunteer program, please contact Rachel Valladares – ([email protected]). Applicants should send a completed volunteer application along with their current resume (optional). To ensure the safety of our students, all volunteers will be asked to get a background check before they begin tutoring.

Resources for the Volunteer Tutor Program

Contact

Barbara Patch, State Director
(603) 271-2273
[email protected]

Barbie has worked for the NH Migrant Education Program for 30 years. She has a long personal history with family-owned farms in New Hampshire. She grew up at Scruton’s Dairy farm in Farmington and currently lives at Walhowdon Farm in Lebanon. She also has a Masters in Education from Wheaton College in Illinois. She is also certified as an English as Second Language teacher.

Rachel Valladares, Program Specialist
(603) 271-2273
[email protected]

Rachel started working with the Migrant Education Program after spending two years with the Peace Corps in Honduras promoting sustainable agriculture. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from the University of Texas. She is fluent in Spanish. She is certified as a Spanish language teacher.