Empowering Migrant Families: Van Buren Intermediate School District’s Innovative Preschool Program

In a pioneering effort to support migrant families in Southwest Michigan, the Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD) Migrant Program has introduced a new initiative targeting preschool children aged 3-5. This unique program brings certified teachers and home/school migrant liaisons directly into the homes of these families, fostering early education and a sense of community.

Home-Based Learning Experience: The heart of this program lies in the engaging and interactive sessions conducted within the comfort of the children’s homes. A certified teacher and a dedicated home/school migrant liaison collaborate to provide a rich educational experience for the preschoolers. The curriculum covers essential topics such as colors, numbers, and the alphabet through a combination of Spanish and English instruction.

Family Involvement: One remarkable aspect of this initiative is the active involvement of parents and younger siblings. Parents enthusiastically welcome the program staff into their homes, creating a supportive learning environment. The sessions include songs, dance, and educational activities that not only captivate the preschoolers but also encourage participation from siblings, fostering a shared learning experience among family members.

Equipping Families for Success: To ensure that learning continues beyond the sessions, students are provided with backpacks filled with necessary supplies. These materials are strategically chosen to complement the curriculum and are meant to be kept in the household for future visits. This not only reinforces the lessons but also encourages a continuous learning environment at home.

Support Beyond Education: Recognizing the diverse needs of migrant families, the program goes beyond academics. Parents receive valuable information about local agencies and programs that cater to their specific needs. By connecting families with available resources, the program aims to provide comprehensive support, contributing to the overall well-being of the migrant community.

Frequency and Commitment: The program’s commitment to the families is evident in its aim to visit households at least once per week. This consistent and regular interaction helps build trust, strengthen relationships, and ensures that the educational and support services are tailored to the evolving needs of each family.

A Vital Program for Year-Round Residents: The significance of this program is particularly pronounced for migrant families who have chosen to stay in Southwest Michigan throughout the year. By offering much-needed services and early education, the VBISD Migrant Program plays a crucial role in empowering these families, setting the stage for a brighter future for their children.

For More Information: For those interested in learning more about this impactful program, please contact Angie Gutierrez at AGutierrez@vbisd.org at the VBISD. Together, let’s celebrate and support the efforts to provide quality education and support to our migrant families in Southwest Michigan.