Francisco Perez, daughters Erika Alvarez and Katylyn Perez, along with wife Beronica Olivares take part in the Back to School Bash.

Contributed photo

Francisco Perez, daughters Erika Alvarez and Katylyn Perez, along with wife Beronica Olivares take part in the Back to School Bash.

Back-to-school bash aims to benefit migrant students

From Contributed Reports

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The Migrant Education and English as a Second Language Department of Edgecombe County Public Schools sponsored a Back-to-School Bash for students who are current or former migrant students.

The goal of the bash was to provide students and families with school supplies and information that would benefit them.

Students were given backpacks with useful school supplies. Parents also had the opportunity to complete a health survey sponsored by Duke University.

“This is our third year doing this,” said Araceli Morales, educator in the Migrant Education and ESL Department. “Some of our students are able to get some school supplies and get information about our community.”

The event was held at W.A. Pattillo Middle School. The school system annually hosts the ESL Technology Camp at Pattillo and the department thought that because the parents are accustomed to this facility, it would be beneficial to host the Back to School Bash there, as well.

“Because quite a few of our families migrate, they don’t really know what we have within the community as in services,” said Maria El Faysal, event coordinator and educator in the Migrant Education and ESL Department. “They have to hear over and over what is available to them so that they really understand.

“Our job is to educate them on what we do and why we do it.”

Carla Mena, senior research assistant at Duke University’s Global Health Institute, was interested in assessing the attitudes and opinions of Spanish-speaking individuals in the area.

By taking advantage of the audience at the Back to School Bash, she was able to do so. At the end of the survey, Mena discussed with the participants the topics and provided them with pamphlets that contained more information.

Participants were also given a gift card to Food Lion, as an incentive.

Sergio Morales-Monroy from the pesticide section of the Department of Agriculture helped educate the participants regarding health and safety issues related to pesticides.