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August 11, 2003, Extra Credit
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August 11, 2003
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 August 8
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Blueberry Harvest Youth Program In Maine Provides Schooling And Support To Children Of Migrant Workers
Following are excerpts from a recent article, "Cultivating a Crop of Kids," which appeared in the Ellsworth American:

"Although local students won't be in class for another month, Tuesday marked the first day of school for 101 children in Washington County. The Blueberry Harvest Youth Program fills the classrooms, gymnasium and hallways of the Ella Lewis School with as many as 300 students at the height of the harvest."

"The intention of the program is to provide academic and social enrichment in an environment that is as culturally sensitive as possible--and by all appearances it succeeds. The majority of exchanges take place in English, but more than half the staff speaks either Micmac or Spanish so they can communicate both with parents and students. One of the aims of the program is to provide stability for a group of children who, by the nature of the seasonal work their parents do, spend little time in one place. The disruption of moving frequently can have a negative impact on child development, and can also mean that a child is not in one place long enough to have his or her needs identified and met."

"While the students are participating in the youth program, they receive supplemental classroom education, can take part in traditional summer camp activities such as art and swimming, and receive two meals a day that meet the USDA nutritional guidelines."

"Migrant education programs were first instituted in 1965 with the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was restructured as the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 by the Bush administration. The Blueberry Harvest Program is funded by federal money and operated by the Maine State Department of Education in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act."

The complete Ellsworth American article was originally published on August 7, 2003, and is no longer available online

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Last Modified: 01/08/2004