More than 150 participants in Millersville University's Migrant Education Program graduated from high school this spring, the program's director said.
Millersville's program serves students in Lancaster, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties, plus a few who live in Lebanon County. The largest number of graduates came from Berks County, with 75, followed by Lancaster (50), Lehigh and Northampton (24) and Lebanon (5), Director David Baird said.
Many of them took part in a statewide Migrant Education graduation ceremony last month at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex in Harrisburg.
“I am grateful for the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program, which breaks down barriers and supports our students in such a unique way," Executive Deputy Secretary of Education Deb Carrera said at the event.
She praised the graduates for their "incredible accomplishment" and urged them to "go out into the world and open more doors to your bright futures.
The children of migrant workers have unique educational needs and drop out at disproportionate rates because of the frequent moves their families make, which prevent them from putting down roots at a single school. Frequently, they face cultural and linguistic barriers as well.
Founded in 1966, Pennsylvania's federally funded Migrant Education Program provides the educational support they need to earn a high school diploma and pursue higher education or productive employment.
Millersville's services include in-home instruction, customized tutoring, after-school, Saturday and extended-day instruction, leadership development, college advising and orientation and parental engagement, Baird said.