The Maine Migrant Education Program (MEP) provides migratory children and youth with several educational and support services. These include summer programs, tutoring programs, and other opportunities to meet each child’s specific need. The local MEP Regional Coordinators enroll all migratory children and youth, conduct all needs assessments, and create a service plan for each student. Read more about the Maine MEP services on Mano en Mano’s website or reach out to the Maine MEP State Director, Matt Flaherty at (207) 530-1807, Matthew.Flaherty@maine.gov.
MEP Eligibility Requirements
Each migratory child and youth must have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) signed by the Maine Department of Education to receive services. In order to receive a COE, the local MEP Regional Coordinator meets with the family to determine eligibility. Eligibility factors include, but are not limited to:
- Migratory: The child, parent/guardian or their spouse moved across school district lines within the past 3 years
- Farmworker or Fisher: The child, parent/guardian or their spouse worked in the temporary or seasonal agriculture and fishing industries.
- Eligible for Free Public Education in Maine: The child is younger than 20 at the start of the school year.
Free School Meals
Homeless, Foster and Migrant students are categorically eligible for free meal benefits. Please review the SY 2023 Eligibility Determination for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Quick Reference Guide for more information.
School Needs Assessment
Upon the enrollment of new migratory children and youth into the MEP, the local regional coordinator will contact the student’s school to meet and complete a School Needs Assessment. The purpose of this meeting is to connect with school staff to discuss the students’ educational goals and to gather information on what the school is currently offering to understand and respond to the students’ abilities, interests, and needs. The meeting and completion of the School Needs Assessment form help to ensure that the MEP is appropriately supplementing academic and advocacy needs. A subsequent school needs assessment meeting should be scheduled at least once per year.
Services for In-School Children & Youth
The Maine MEP provides supplemental educational and support services to migratory children and youth in school throughout the state. To inform the services the MEP will provide, the MEP completes a Family Needs Assessment and a School Needs Assessment for every migratory child and youth enrolled into the MEP. Based on these Needs Assessments and the child’s educational goals and needs, the MEP provides supplemental services to meet those needs.
- Advocacy: The Maine MEP acts as an advocate for the children and families of migratory agricultural workers and fishers in schools, districts and elsewhere to ensure that students are receiving the services for which they are eligible
- After-School Educational Programs: After-school tutoring and other educational support services for migratory children and youth may be available and vary by location.
- Preschool & Daycare Services: In some cases, the Maine MEP may be able to provide or contribute to preschool and daycare services to facilitate the educational needs of eligible migratory parents or siblings.
- Referral to Outside Providers/Agencies: The Maine MEP works with several other State agencies and community partners to connect migratory agricultural worker or fishers and their families to educational and other support services.
- Transportation: Depending on a child's circumstances, the Maine MEP may be able to provide transportation for eligible students to and from MEP-related activities and services.
In addition to the services provided to student throughout the school year, the Maine MEP coordinates summer opportunities for migratory children and youth in the state. Some of these children may live in the state year-round, and others move to the state to work in Maine’s agriculture and fishing industries.
- Blueberry Harvest School. The Blueberry Harvest School is an educational summer program for children (ages three to 13) who are eligible for the Maine MEP. The program provides transportation, meals and other services to participating children.
- Other Programs. The Maine MEP may be able to coordinate additional summer educational activities for migratory children and youth. These opportunities are decided upon on a case-by-case basis.
Services for Out-of-School Children & Youth
The Maine MEP helps students that have dropped out of school with their educational goals. Through the initial needs assessment with the student, MEP staff identify their educational goals. After that, MEP staff provides educational activities related to those goals such as language, math or reading lessons.