The Blueberry Harvest School
The Blueberry Harvest School (BHS) is a summer school for migrant children (ages 3-13) designed to provide students with the opportunity to attend school while they are in Maine and may be missing school days and credits in their home states. The program is open to eligible children of migrant workers in Washington County, Maine during the wild blueberry harvest and is made possible by Title I, Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Maine Department of Education's Maine Migrant Education Program (Maine MEP).
The BHS has been operating for over 30 years, ever since there was a large influx of migrant workers in Maine’s blueberry harvest in the 1970s. Migrant families travel to Maine from Mi’kmaq First Nation communities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; from “Eastern Stream” states such as Florida and Mississippi; and from within Maine, including Passamaquoddy communities in eastern Washington County and a Latino community in western Washington County. Some families complete the blueberry harvest in less than two weeks, while other families may stay for five weeks or longer.
The goal of the BHS is to respond to the unique needs of each student through culturally responsive, project-based learning while preventing summer learning loss and compensating for school disruptions among students.
A Day in the Life of a BHS Student
8:00 Get off the bus and follow your teacher to the cafeteria for a yummy breakfast. Breakfast can consist of muffins, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, cereal, and pancakes, among other things.
8:30 You and your classmates will meet in your homeroom to gear up for the day.
9:00 Time for outdoor explorations! Head outside with your class and explore the trails around the school with some knowledgeable guides from Maine Outdoor Education.
9:45 Now it’s back to the classroom to start some projects and activities. You might find yourself challenged to make a self-portrait out of natural objects, a story quilt, or complete a scavenger hunt.
12:00 Time for lunch! Some of our entrees include fajitas, roasted chicken, tacos, and pasta.
1:00 Return to the classroom for more project-based learning!
1:45 Break out into reading groups with classmates or gather around while your teacher reads aloud.
2:30 You get a little bit of free time now for technology or to work on creative projects.
3:30 It's already time to head home!
Fridays are for Field Trips!
Every Friday during the BHS, students get to participate in unique educational field trips. Whether spending the day in a state park, swimming at the pool, or exploring the Downeast Salmon Federation, there is something for everyone to enjoy!