Nebraska is home to more than 5,000 migrant students – children who have moved across a school district line in the past three years for their own work, or for a parent or guardian’s seasonal or temporary work in agricultural. The biggest challenges migrant students often face are poverty, mobility and adjusting to new curriculums and cultures at each new school they attend. Migrant Education Programs across the state facilitate programs that fill the gaps in migrant students’ education to help them achieve academic success.
In Educational Service Unit 13 alone – the area which serves Nebraska’s Panhandle – the average number of migrant students is around 500 each year with the majority of students identifying as Hispanic or Latino. As part of its Migrant Education Program, public schools across the Panhandle have taken the initiative to deepen the connection to their student populations and welcome teachers from Mexico to teach reading, math, science and Mexican culture as part of the Binational Teacher Exchange Program.
In the summer months, the Binational Teachers help students celebrate and take pride in their family’s Mexican heritage and bridge the cultural gap between Mexican and non-Mexican students. Because of this exchange, Nebraska public schools benefit by breaking down stereotypes, learning more about Mexican history and culture, and creating a more inclusive school environment.