English learner newspaper provides ‘Migrant Voice’

Elementary students in Farmersville, Pixley and Earlimart write stories through Tulare-Kings County Migrant Journalism Project

TULARE COUNTY – The pandemic and distance learning did not slow down young writers in the Migrant Journalism Project this year. Together, dozens of students from Tulare and Kings counties wrote nearly 40 articles for four editions of the program’s Migrant Voice newspaper.

This spring, journalists turned their investigative eyes toward the pandemic and how it affected teachers and community members, careers, entertainment, technology, and social media. Students worked alone or in groups to research, interview, and write the articles from a local perspective. The first of the four editions is now online at tcoe.org/MigrantVoice. The current edition features the work of third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from Pixley Elementary, Earlimart Elementary, and Freedom Elementary in Farmersville. Three additional spring 2021 editions will be added this month. Back issues, dating from 2016, are also available online.

Envisioned in 2015, the Migrant Journalism Project assists students to transition from being English learners to proficient in the English language. The project helps them experience the role of journalists by gathering information, interviewing people and writing articles. It also helps them practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English, and develop their self-awareness of learning skills and strategies. To create the project, migrant administrators worked with staff from Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) to design the curriculum and conduct the trainings for the Tulare County teachers who would lead the project.

For more information about the Migrant Journalism Project, contact Tony Velásquez, migrant education administrator, at [email protected].

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