Helping migrants learn in southwest Missouri
Imagine starting a new school year, but instead of excitement there’s an overwhelming sense of anxiety. This is what many migrant students deal with when attending school for the first time in the United States. Missouri State University instructional specialist Claudia Franks recently received a grant continuation for a school in McDonald County that works to change this experience for migrant students.
“The Migrant Summer School project will provide academic supports during the summer months to address the skill deficits of individual students and assist them in preparation for the upcoming school year,” said Dr. Tamara Arthaud, counseling leadership and special education department head. “Within the program, we will be offering the Math Matters program, which addresses both foundational skill deficits as well as academic English language learning.”
Developing foundational skills
The Math Matters program will be supplemented with materials that will address literacy, science and social studies skills in addition to the foundational skills that the program covers.
“The purpose of the program is to increase the literacy and math skills of migrant students for whom English is a second language,” said Arthaud. “The curricular focus will enhance the language and comprehension of the students as they approach those subject areas during the academic year.”
Students participating in the program will have a higher likelihood of success when they enter the fall semester.
“The academic strengthening of their skills increases the opportunity for McDonald County and the state of Missouri to develop a strong work force within its future residents,” said Arthaud. “The summer program allows McDonald County to provide year-round education to these students and increase their academic proficiency.”
The project will run throughout the month of July. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Southwest Missouri Regional Professional Development Center has partnered with McDonald County to offer this program.
“The success of the program is due entirely to the hard work and dedication of the English as a Second Language specialists in McDonald County and the administrators who support them,” said Claudia Franks, program coordinator.
Arthaud and Franks hope to continue to offer this program each summer as long as the need is present.