TEXAS MEP Quarterly
Family Edition: June/July/August 2022
Welcome parents and families, to the Texas Migrant Education Program quarterly newsletter! This issue will highlight resources, events, and back-to-school information.
If you missed the March-May Quarterly Edition, you may access it here.
Don't forget to join the TMEP Listserv to continue receiving this newsletter each quarter and important updates about the Migrant Education program.
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College Campus Resources
Attending college for the first time opens up a lot of opportunities to seek guidance to get ready for your classes. On-campus resources make it easier to navigate your college experience and put you on the path to obtaining a degree in a timely manner. Here are a few ideas for on-campus resources:
Your college advisors play a major role in the decisions you make in college such as selecting a major or which classes to take and when. Advisors are trained to help you achieve your goals and graduate from college in a timely manner. There is no reason you should go through college without guidance so make an appointment to speak with an advisor. Other students may also be a good resource in deciding what professors to select.
2. Financial Aid
You may have already completed your FAFSA and received notice of a financial aid package but the financial aid office may be able to help you to find additional funds that you’re eligible for, and manage the financial aid that you already have. Financial aid packages might include grants, scholarships, and/or loans.
3. Health Services
Everyone gets ill, overwhelmed, or may feel a little anxiety from time to time. Many colleges offer free or discounted counseling services for students. They may also have crisis centers or hotlines to help students who may experience more serious issues. These hotlines are confidential and run by people trained to help in crisis situations. Do not be afraid to reach out for help.
4. Writing Center
Whatever major you select, you will be required to write papers at various points during your college career. The writing center is there to help. Even if you just want someone to review your paper, they are there to assist you with occasional writer’s block, proofreading, or creating an outline. The writing center is the place to explore the differences between creative essays, critiques, and research papers and to help you create something great. Contact them to set an appointment if you desire assistance.
During your college career, you’ll find that some classes are a breeze while others might be a little more difficult. Whether it’s the material or how it is presented, some classes may be more challenging than others. Instead of struggling in silence, consider seeking the help of a tutor. Be sure to ask if their services are fee based or offered at no cost.
These and other resources are designed to make your college journey successful, but that’s only the case if you take advantage of them. Remember, every student needs help at some point.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows you to apply for federal and state financial aid using the one application. The application is online and is available in both English and Spanish. Be sure that you have all of the documents needed to complete the application. The deadline to apply for financial aid for the 2022-23 school year is June 20, 2022.
Should you prefer to apply for just state financial aid, another application that you may be eligible to complete would be the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). Be sure to read the guidelines for qualifying.
Scholarships.com is a website that allows you to get matched with financial aid that you may not be aware exists. It offers you the chance to get matched immediately and apply at the same time. You can check every year to see if you qualify for new awards. Additionally, Collegescholarships.org offers students a list of scholarships, along with the deadlines to apply. Remember, it all adds up!
Fun Summer Activities
Grow a Garden
Start with a theme for your project. Food, flowers, and fun are three ideas to start with when planning a summer garden.
Food - Choose one of your favorite foods like pizza and then select the herbs used to make the popular dish. Oregano, basil, garlic, rosemary or red peppers, and tomatoes. Research what tools you will need to prepare your garden and then select the area where you plan to grow your herbs. Then get ready to make your first homemade, made from scratch pizza.
Flower - What is your favorite flower or your mom’s favorite bloom? Flower gardens can be both colorful and fragrant. Start with something easy to grow and maintain. Choose the perfect spot for the plants. Do they need more shade or sun? If you do not have a shady spot in the yard, ask mom for some old sheets to use as a tent for your blooms.
Fun - Mystery? Magic? Secret garden? A magical garden would not be complete without a few accessories. Introduce special magical elements into a child’s garden space by using items such as twinkling fairy lights, wind chimes, colorful pinwheels, sandpits full of rainbow sand, and for that extra touch you can even hide a gnome or two!
Set a maintenance schedule for your garden. How often do you need to water, fertilize or weed? Remember once you plant any type of garden, routine maintenance is required to keep it healthy and thriving.
Learn to Play an Instrument
Have you ever wanted to learn to play the guitar, drums or maybe even a trumpet? Check with your local YMCA or Community Center to find out if they offer classes or check with your local musical instrument store to see if you can rent an instrument or take lessons. Maybe you can get your friends to learn an instrument too and then at the end of the summer, have a backyard concert!
Summer Book Challenge
Get a group of your friends together and pledge to read three or four books a month during the summer. It can be a book about one of your class subjects or any topic that you are interested in. This will give you an opportunity to discover something new.
Visit your local library, get a library card and start reading!
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
When the school year ends, some families need additional access to healthy meals and snacks for their children that schools provide during the academic year. The U.S.Department of Agriculture provides a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that serves children and teens in lower income areas. To find a program site in your community, visit the Summer Meals Site Finder and enter your location to find programs in your area. Check the website often as new program operators may be added during the summer.
Be sure to check with your child’s school to see if they are operating one of the SFSP’s at a school in your community.
Vaccination Requirements for School Children
Children attending Texas schools and/or child-care facilities must adhere to state immunization requirements? These requirements are determined by our Texas state legislature, the Texas Department of State Health Services, in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency. Getting the proper immunizations helps reduce the spread of disease outbreaks and also better ensures the health of your child.
Make sure your child is up to date with their vaccines and that you keep the records in a safe place because they will be required for school. Texas has minimum requirements for students in grades K-12. Your child’s doctor or health clinic should be able to tell you what vaccinations are required and when they should be administered.
Here is a link to the 2022-2023 Texas state vaccination requirements for all grade-level students. The information is available in English and Spanish (scroll down on the webpage for the Spanish version).
Complete your High School Education
Looking for an opportunity to obtain your high school diploma, you can get more information about the High School Equivalency (HSEP), formerly known as a GED, through the Texas Education Agency. With an HSE, you can expand your career options or move to the next step to continue your education.
If you plan on taking the HSE, please have one of the following government issued photo IDs:
State drivers license
DPS safety ID card
Passport or U.S. passport card
Many areas across the state offer classes in-person or online. Reach out to your migrant recruiter for information about how to register for HSE classes.
Education Resources for Parents of K-12 Migratory Children
The Education Resources portal was designed to meet some of the educational needs of migratory students in Texas, from grades K - 12. The resources consist of lessons in the language arts. They are available in English for grades K-12 and in Spanish for grades K-6.
A new feature of the portal is that you no longer need an access code to create an account. If you already have an account, sign-in procedures remain the same but, if you need to create a new account, just go to the website, answer a couple of questions, and then create your username and password. That’s it! Now you have access to parent-friendly lessons that are aligned with the English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) and the Spanish Language Arts and Reading (SLAR) standards. There are tip sheets for parents that explain and demonstrate specific skills. There are also multi-level interactive apps for children, designed to reinforce skills learned in the classroom.
Contact your local migrant recruiter for more information about Education Resources for Parents of K - 12 Migratory Children.
Project SMART: Making Mathematics Meaningful
Project SMART: Making Mathematics Meaningful, is a Texas summer math migrant program created by the Texas Education Agency in collaboration with the Education Service Center, Region 20.
The objectives and activities of Project SMART were designed for mobile students enrolled in summer migrant programs. The goal of the program is to improve the math skills of migrant students. The program can be offered in a center-based or home-based setting to students in grades K-8.
Contact your local migrant recruiter for information to find out if this program is available in your school district.
National Association of State Directors for Migrant Education (NASDME)
The 53rd National Migrant Conference was held on April 7th - 10th, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas at the beautiful downtown Marriott Rivercenter Hotel. The year's conference theme “Together We Can!” was attended by approximately 1,200 people and featured nearly 130 informative workshops, and 4 dynamic general sessions as well as several amazing student performances.
The State Parent Advisory Council (PAC) hosted a couple of workshops in which three parents, Maria Retana, Josie Mendoza and Claudia Casteňeda, co-presented and highlighted the importance of getting involved in the education of our children and feeling empowered to advocate for them within the school system. Participants received quite a bit of information, encouragement, and discovered new ways to help further the learning experience of their children and community.
Contact your Migrant Recruiter to find out how you can get involved.
Planning a Migratory Move
If your family is planning to move out of the state of Texas or relocating to another part of the state during the summer, contact your local MEP Recruiter to inform them of your plans. They can help facilitate your child’s change in schools by sending notification through Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX). This system helps to ensure your child’s educational progress, transfer of health records, and continuation of services remain on schedule when transferring to their new school district.