The purpose of the Migrant Education Family Biliteracy Program (MEFBP) grant is to promote site-based family biliteracy programs. Research by, Vasquez, 2004; Castro, Espinosa, and Páez, 2011; shows that high quality, early biliteracy programs that focus on the academic, language, social, and cross-cultural challenges of school, will better prepare at-risk migrant children for entrance into kindergarten.
The latter responds to the findings of the 2007 California Needs Assessment (CNA). According to the CNA, approximately 23 percent of migrant children are significantly over age in kindergarten. The CNA also finds that the single most prevalent research finding points to school-based, formal preschool programs as a promising approach to prepare at-risk children for the academic, language, social, and cross-cultural challenges of school. In addition, the California State Service Delivery Plan for the Migrant Education Program (MEP) calls for the increase in the percentage of the eligible migrant preschool children receiving a high-quality early education.Although last year the grant program focused solely on emphasizing site-based programs, this year’s grant opportunity includes an additional emphasis: Family Biliteracy.
The primary objectives of the Family Biliteracy Program for preschool age-children is to:
- Engage the migrant family into the school community by valuing the cultural andlinguistic assets the family possesses
- Integrate the family unit into the educational experience by utilizing the family’sfirst language to teach and model literacy strategies that families may replicate athome in the absence of the teacher
- Incorporate an adult/parenting education component that builds awareness aboutthe value of biliteracy and other school practices
All applicants must demonstrate their likelihood of success in meeting the purpose of the MEFBP, which is to provide high-quality and intensive family biliteracy services based on scientifically based research principles.
Requirements of prospective applicants shall address the following:
- Provision of services for children and families with an active Certificate ofEligibility at time of enrollment
- Provision of services for three to five year old children
- Use of highly qualified instructional staff in both the early childhood educationand adult education programs
- Cooperation and coordination between a variety of relevant agencies and serviceproviders
In addition, both children and parents must actively participate in the program. Specifically: (a) children must take part in early childhood education and school readiness activities, (b) parents must take part in adult biliteracy activities, (c) both parents and their children must be involved in parenting education and interactive literacy activities.