Building a Community for Migrant Education Services through Family Literacy and Farm Worker Outreach

Karen S. Vocke

Abstract


Cultural and linguistic differences within the migrant population, coupled with the transient nature of these families, often present challenges that can inhibit the education of migrant students in our schools. How can schools and communities come together to provide resources and services for this vulnerable population? Through the theoretical lens of Paulo Freire, we identify the need to work against the current educational trend toward increased standardization and work towards a model of education that is both individualized and democratic. For migrant students, individualizing educational experiences often means reaching out to the families for linguistic support. We have found the current services and resources available to students and families in Michigan to be fragmentary at best, and absent at worst. Our vision is to create a resource center for migrant families at Western Michigan University that focuses on literacy outreach initiatives for all ages, thus potentially filling a desperate need.


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