Did you know each year, nearly 6,000 children accompany their parents to Ottawa County from February to late November? This steam of seasonal workers from Texas, many of whom are second and third generation, has existed for more than 30 years. It is the largest population of seasonal workers in Michigan.
Spanish is the first language in the home; 78 percent of the parents have only limited English proficiency, and on average a sixth grade education level. Due to long work hours in the fields (often six days a week), low wages, and social/ geographical isolation, parents are not able to provide after-school and summer activities/lessons for their children.
The Migrant Mentoring Program matches children from local migrant camps with community volunteers. The program is designed to build cultural bridges between the larger community and the migrant worker population, while meeting the social and educational needs of the children.
- Volunteer mentors agree to meet with a child on a weekly basis to provide social opportunities and academic support for the duration of the migrant family's stay.
- The goal of the program is to increase the comfort level of the children and their families in the local community, increase access to community resources, build cultural bridges, and assist with academic achievement of migrant children.
- An understanding of the Spanish language is not required.
Mentors matter: Become a mentor today!