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Adult Education &
Parental Assistance Services

Funding Sources
  • USDE/Office of Migrant Education
  • USDE/Office of Bilingual Education
  • USDE/Parental Assistance Program
  • ACTION/VISTA
  • NYSED/Migrant Education
  • NYSED/Division of Occupational Education
  • Livingston County Community Services Block Grant

The early in-camp programs for migrant youth and adults were staffed by student volunteers. Dr. Mattera was the first faculty advisor of the College's Project Reach, a predecessor of the present Volunteer Center. Campus organizations have conducted food, clothing and toy drives, and organized social events for migrants. Since 1974, Literacy Volunteers of America-Livingston County has trained students to teach adult literacy and (more recently) English as a Second Language on a volunteer basis.

The volunteer program expanded with an ACTION grant in 1988. Student volunteers have been recruited through Migrant Awareness Week events in dormitories and through the Volunteer Center.

Adult education is an important part of the Center's work, because the education gap afflicts migrant adults as well as children and youth. Because the need for learning is lifelong, the Center has organized efforts to reach the needs of this segment of the migrant culture.

Another integral part of the educational scope focuses on parental assistance programs for family literacy and home-school connections.  This brings the life cycle around to its beginning: a fair start for migrant children.

Resource materials developed for Center programs in adult education and parental assistance appear at left.

In 1991 and 1992, PRIME (Parental Resources for Involvement in Migrant Education) studied parental involvement programs, both inside and outside of migrant education. It disseminated information on replicable ideas and models.

The New York State Migrant Education Even Start Transitions program serves farmworker families through services at Migrant Education Outreach Program (MEOP) sites at Cortland, Herkimer, New Paltz, Oneonta, Potsdam, and Suffolk County. The program integrates three components: adult or basic literacy education for parents; early childhood education for children from birth through age seven; and parenting education in a unified family literacy program.

CONNECTIONS (Centers for Educational Connections for Migrant Families) operates family assistance centers and home visits through the Brockport, Cortland and Oswego MEOPs. Its HIPPY (Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters) component helps parents build school readiness skills for four- and five-year old children.

Migrant families often travel far, fast, and light. The "uprooted children" described by Robert Coles have uprooted mothers and fathers. Parents who have problems with reading and writing themselves may be unable to provide their children with reading readiness skills or with the support at home that children need to do well in school.

When families travel across school district boundaries, parents do not easily form connections with their children's teachers. Understandably, they may not feel the sense of "ownership" and involvement in the school that more settled parents, and teachers, take for granted.

Parental assistance programs building family literacy and bridges between parents and schools address these issues for farmworker families.

 

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