Migrant Students are Going Places!
This summer, Washington County saw its traditional influx of agricultural workers arriving to rake and process blueberries. With so many teenagers traveling either alone or with their families to rake blueberries, Maine Migrant Education Program and Mano en Mano organized a series of educational weekend field trips to keep the students engaged and learning over the summer. These students do not attend the Blueberry Harvest School due to age or because they are busy raking during the day.
Leadership and exposure to future possibilities were recurring themes of the trips. During an outing to Roque Bluffs State Park, students practiced teamwork, cooperation, and communication skills before settling down to a cook-out. Another day, students engaged in a ropes course designed to use problem-solving skills and cooperation, and to practice working through fears in a nurturing environment.
Campus tours were done at both the University of Maine at Machias and the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Students were able to speak with admissions staff and ask questions about college in general. They were also able to tour classrooms, dorm rooms, and campus facilities, including an enjoyable trip to the campus pool. After the visits to each campus, there were students who expressed interest in coming back to Maine to attend college after graduation from high school.
Other educational opportunities included a trip to the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor to explore the history and culture of the Wabanaki people. Students also learned about the local marine wildlife during a whale watch with Eastport Windjammers. Although the majority of those in attendance were from coastal states, the whale watch was a first-time experience for everyone! Sightings included Minke whales, harbor porpoises and seals, bald eagles and starfish.