Education Matters: Making Christmas memories for migrants


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of School’s migrant program does more than provide support services for migrant children – the staff truly cares about the families.

A Christmas celebration that those who work in the migrant education department at the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools look forward too.

“We come together as a team my coworkers and we plan for the whole year,” said the office’s Monica Mendoza.

“It’s so exciting, rewarding especially this time of year. It’s nice to give back.”

Every year these employees give back to a migrant family in need. They provide a joyous Christmas celebration for families like the Altamiranos. The father is a widow: these children lost their mom several years ago. Nora Ceballos, a parent involvement coordinator at Central Unified, says when she met them they had a lot of needs.

“It was not only academics but social emotional and he didn’t know what to do where to go with his kids. The kids were not talking, they were just so sad about losing their mom and dad needed some resources so he went to me for some help.”

Ceballos says that although Mr. Altamirano goes to work in the fields everyday – he shows up for his children, making time to meet with their teachers and hasn’t missed a parent meeting.

Migrant educators, with help from some special donors, choose to celebrate this family give them the Christmas they wouldn’t normally have. It lit up the faces of children who hadn’t smiled in a long time.

“I really believe that today symbolizes that many groups have come together to help one family succeed and that’s evident and they see it,” said administrator Ruben Castillo.

“The singing, the caroling the tree that is all symbolic of everyone coming together to help one family.”

What makes the migrant Christmas celebration different is that it’s not just abut the gifts, the people in the office work with these families all year long to make sure their children succeed in school.

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