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San Diego County Office Of Education Will Provide Schooling For Migrant Youth

Cots laid out for unaccompanied migrant teens temporarily sheltering at the S...

Credit: Pool photo via Nevin Cepeda / Union-Tribune

Above: Cots laid out for unaccompanied migrant teens temporarily sheltering at the San Diego Convention Center, March 27, 2021.

As the San Diego Convention Center becomes a temporary home for hundreds of teenaged migrants who have crossed the Southwest border, multiple San Diego County organizations have teamed up to provide them with an education during their stay.

RELATED: Migrant Children Arrive At San Diego Convention Center

Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

By Monday night, close to 700 girls, aged 13 through 17, from several countries in Latin America will be at the Convention Center, according to Kathryn Lembo, executive director of South Bay Community Services. The San Diego County Office of Education will take responsibility for providing the girls with an education in English and the arts for the duration of their stay, which will last through July.

“We definitely want to introduce them to the arts, the visual arts and the performing arts,” said Roberto Carrillo, a principal at the County Office of Education. “We’ll give them the opportunity to start expressing themselves through written formats, giving them a basic understanding of the English language.”

Carrillo said about 13 teachers from the County Office of Education have volunteered to work with the migrant students.

“Writing and poetry that’s all focused on just giving them the opportunity to have that outlet,” he said. “I don’t know their individual stories but I can imagine they had a lot of difficulties.”

Instruction will start once the youth have all arrived and settled in, which could be as soon as Tuesday. Carrillo says community members who want to support these educational efforts should contact the County Office of Education or South Bay Community Services.

RELATED: San Diego County School Districts Detail Plans For Return To In-Person Learning

“The young people just got here, and they’re still arriving, so it gives us an opportunity to put everything together,” Carrillo said. “When we’re ready to go, we’ll hit the ground running and provide the best possible program that we can for them.”


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Joe Hong
Education Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an education reporter, I'm always looking for stories about learning. My favorite education stories put a student's face on bigger policy issues. I regularly sift through enrollment data, test scores and school budgets, but telling student-centered stories is my top priority.

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