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About the Migrant Education Program

The goal of the Migrant Education Program (MEP) is to ensure that migratory children benefit fully from the same free public education provided to other children and to help them overcome issues such as educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, various health-related problems, and other factors that inhibit their ability to be successful in school.  

In Tennessee, the Department of Education uses an outside contractor to manage the state Migrant Education Program. Conexión Américas, carries out the daily work of the MEP program for the state Title I-C grant.  We are responsible for the identification and recruitment of migratory students in the state (including preschool, in-school and out of school youth) and for providing supplemental services to help students succeed in school and graduate from high school. We work directly with families, schools, school districts, and communities to gather data and deliver services to migratory students and families.

Crops in Tennessee

Tennessee produces a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, trees, dairy, and livestock. The map below is a list of the main crops and industries in the state that we follow and where we recruit students and their families. The main crops that bring migratory workers to Tennessee are tomatoes and tobacco and the busy season is from April to September.

Identification and Recruitment

Identification means determining the presence and location of migratory children within the state.      

Recruitment means describing the benefits of the MEP to the child and his or her family and obtaining the necessary information to document the child’s eligibility and enroll the child in the program.

Identification and recruitment of migrant children are critical because:

  • The children who are most in need of program services are often those who are the most difficult to find.
  • Many migrant children would not fully benefit from school, and in some cases, would not attend school at all, if the State Educational Agencies (SEAs) failed to identify and recruit them into the MEP.
  • Children cannot receive MEP services without a record of eligibility.

The Tennessee Migrant Education Program has a network of Recruiters across the state who recruit migrant children for the program. Recruiters travel to different locations, including homes, farms, packing houses, schools, and other locations throughout the state to identify and recruit students. Once a migrant family is identified, Recruiters refer migrant youth and families to appropriate health, social or legal services.

Who should I contact if I think that a student may be a migrant?

Contact the Tennessee Migrant Education Program — denise@conexionamericas.org  (615) 924-1497 — to find the Migrant Education Recruiter or Tutor for your area.