Massachusetts Migrant Education Program provides support across the Commonwealth

Home E CES Stories E Massachusetts Migrant Education Program provides support across the Commonwealth
Article Author: Martha Maloney
Publication Name: Collaborative for Educational Services
Article Date: May 1, 2024
Article URL:

In the fall of 2020, the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) took on the management of the Massachusetts Migrant Education Program (MMEP). CES has a strong programmatic core of supporting students that aligned well with the MMEP work, and it was the plan to build collaborations between the MMEP and other CES programs, such as the Early Childhood Programs and 21st Century Afterschool programming.  Some CES member districts had and have migratory students enrolled and the agency’s relationship with other districts, such as those within the Massachusetts Rural Schools Coalition, has been helpful in reaching out to more migratory students and youth.

The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally funded Title I program begun in 1966 with the amendment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The program provides supplemental academic and support services for children and youth whose parents, guardians, family members, or the youth themselves  are considered migratory agricultural workers or migratory fishers, including seasonal and temporary work. Program services are designed to help these highly mobile students and youth overcome challenges to their education such as educational disruption, social isolation, cultural and language differences, health related problems, extreme poverty, and other concerns that create obstacles to learning.  

The MMEP program continues to grow each year, and supports more and more migratory students and their families as they move to and around Massachusetts.  651 migratory children and youth were identified in the 2022-2023 program year, an increase from the prior year. MMEP is on pace to continue to see a significant increase in the number of students qualifying for Title 1 services through the program. This year, MMEP has also expanded our Ready! For Kindergarten program statewide. Ready! For Kindergarten is a program developed by the Children’s Reading Foundation designed to help parents/caregivers work with and support their young child to be prepared for success in school.  This was piloted in the Springfield area last year and now has expanded to reach over 30 students by the end of the program year.

MMEP also provides migratory out of school youth (OSY) a path to studying and preparing for the HiSET and GED exams. Students attend online classes three nights a week, focusing on Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  In the past year, they have made impressive academic gains despite having to balance other commitments in their lives such as full time work, English classes, and household/familial responsibilities. 

One of the MMEP students spoke about the support she received: “My name is Gimena, I am 21 years old, I am from Guatemala, I came to this country looking for opportunities. My job is doing farm work. I am taking two classes: English and HiSET. I am taking these classes because it will open more doors for me, it will help me achieve my goals and dreams. I am very grateful to this program for giving me the opportunity to continue studying. My sincere thanks to Grace Harris and to the teacher Patricia who, with their support, teachings, and efforts, I can achieve my professional graduation. My greatest achievement is being able to obtain my diploma.”

Led by Director Emily Hoffman, MMEP continues to implement and develop programming based on the needs of students. There are currently fourteen remote English language classes for the Out of School Youth (OSY) throughout the state. Most students are on pace to move up a level by the end of May. Site-based homework assistance and home-based tutorials have begun throughout the state and for the first time since the pandemic, and Migrant Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings are back.  Representatives of Regional PAC groups are convening at Worcester State University’s Latino Education Institute for a State PAC meeting, where they will develop an action plan on how migratory parents/caregivers will address the issue of chronic absenteeism and tardiness and how the MMEP can support them to achieve their plan.

The work to partner with schools and school districts is foundational to the program’s growth. Said Emily Hoffman, Program Director, “MMEP works with multiple school districts and community agencies and looks forward to continuing these collaborations and program development to best support the migratory youth and families residing in the state.” 

Translate »