SAN ANGELO, Texas – Region 15’s mission statement says their Education Service Center “is dedicated to excellence in education through leadership, partnership, and service.”

The center has many programs, one of which is the Migrant Education Program, or MEP.

According to Region 15’s website: The USDE Office of Migrant Education has provided funds for supplemental academic and supportive services to the children of families who migrate to find work in the agricultural and fishing industries.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about the Migrant Education Program,” Elizabeth Rangel, Migrant Education Specialist for Region 15, said.

One misconception comes from the misunderstanding of the definitions of the words “migrant” and “immigrant.” Another misconception is that this program is only for students who are from other countries.

“A lot of people have migrant status they just may not realize it,” Arath Silva-Gonzalez, former participant in the Migrant Education Program said.

He qualified for the program after his family moved from Minnesota, where his father worked at a dairy farm, to San Angelo.

“Agriculture is done through the seasons, so people move to follow the crops and when they are able to be picked and harvested,” Rangel said.

This consistent movement creates gaps in education and opportunities for the children who often work in the Agriculture industry with their parents.

The MEP provides migratory students with academic materials, school supplies, community service projects where students volunteer around the area, and continuing-education-style opportunities like summer camps and workshops in San Angelo.

The MEP has been operating for several years now according to Rangel who has served as a Migrant Education Specialist for almost 15 years. The program was originally run through San Angelo Independent School District but has since moved to Region 15.

Region 15 serves 43 school districts and out of those, 15 participate in the program with more than 300 students enrolled in it.

To learn more about the history of MEP, watch the video below.

To get more information about the program or see if you or your family qualifies for the program, contact the Region 15 office at 325-481-4069.

Para obtener información en español, vea el vídeo: