Sixty Migrant Children in Week-Long Camp

Mayfield third grader Stefani learned about lightening from instructor Jason LindseySixty migrant children from Western Kentucky studied writing, art and science in a week-long camp at West Kentucky Community and Technical College June 4-8. The three camps were held in the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) for K-12 students from area schools in Paducah and McCracken County, Mayfield and Graves County, Murray and Calloway County, Fulton, Hickman, Ballard, and Carlisle counties, as well as Webster, Henderson, and Ohio counties near Madisonville.

This is the first time the migrant summer camps have been held on the WKCTC campus; as the migrant program continues to grow, the local area program coordinators are excited to have the camps at the ETC. “Coming to the college for our summer camps has been perfect for us,” said Gaby Acree, migrant advocate/recruiter for the Mayfield Independent School district. “The facilities are wonderful and has everything we need,” said Acree. “The computers and classrooms are convenient, the food is healthy, the teachers are great, and all the curriculum meets our educational needs. We are so glad to have been able to partner with WKCTC in serving these children.”

Dana, a third grader from Clark Elementary in Paducah, wants to be a writer and loved the amazing things she learned in the writing camp. “We got to write about magical places, our favorite pet and lots of other fun things,” she said. “We also got to go outside and learn and write about nature.” Dana and the other writing camp students also collected recipes from home and learned how to write and create a special recipe book.

Graves County third grader Stefeni learned the basics of science in lots of fun and exciting ways, including a Skype call to Honduras where the students in the ETC learned about lightening and chemical reactions at the same time as students in Central America.

“It was fun and neat to see all the people in another place learning the same thing as me,” Stefeni said. Science camp instructor Jason Lindsey, also known as “The Science Guy,” developed a variety of experiments to teach the students about other science ideas such as gravity, weather, magnets, energy, color and more.

Seventeen year-old Carlos of Webster County learned about painting, drawing and sculpture in the art camp for high school students. “I’ve been to middle school camps before, but was this my first camp while in high school,” he said. “I like learning about art, but I really enjoy meeting new people and making new friends.”

The art camp students traveled from the Madisonville area to attend the camp and stayed at the Kentucky Dam Village each night throughout the week.

The migrant program is a federally funded program that is coordinated from the West Kentucky Regional Administrative Center located at Madisonville Community and Technical College. The program provides supplemental education and resource services for migrant children who move with their families from place to place seeking agricultural work and seeks to reduce educational barriers in order to achieve educational success. Many of the local advocates/recruiters are hired by the center to coordinate the summer camps and other services for the children and their families throughout the year.

“Having the opportunity to host the migrant camps has been a great learning experience,” said WKCTC continuing education coordinator Kevin O’Neill. “The migrant program offers these children the chance to experience summer camps and we are proud to be a part of the process. This is only the beginning; we are already working on how to improve the camps for next year and the years to come.”