More than 100 students from Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District’s migrant education program sang songs of unity for their parents and celebrated the Olympics during an open house at Edmondson Elementary School on July 19.

The event marked the end of the migrant education program’s summer session. A 10-week Saturday session will commence in the fall.

Glazier Elementary School first-grade teacher Bradley Erickson was the program’s music instructor and coordinated the performance of pre-kindergarteners through sixth-graders.

“The students are excited to come to music class every day,” Erickson said. “I feel privileged to pass to them the same kind of inspiration I received as a child.”

The music and dance showcase began with pre-kindergartners and first-graders performing a traditional “La Raspa” dance. Second- and third-graders followed by singing, “Follow a Dream” and “Give It Your Best.” Fourth- to sixth-graders completed the show by performing the Olympic Theme on drums, recorders and keyboards, then staged a spirited version of “Alabama Girl.”

“The migrant education program is a wonderful example of the District providing student opportunities of access and equity while giving them a sense of connectedness within our community,” NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Our students should have every opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background.”

Students have been able to enroll in the migrant education program for more than 20 years. NLMUSD teachers create their own curriculum, which focuses on bolstering literacy and communication skills, primarily through non-fiction reading. Students of all grade levels are encouraged to work in teams, research subjects on iPads and expand their vocabulary.

“The students are such a joy to watch as they discover what they are capable of,” NLMUSD Director of State and Federal Programs Mercedes Lovie said to parents at the performance. “We ask you to reach out to your friends and family to share our program at Norwalk-La Mirada, so we can serve more students from our community.”

This summer, teachers used the upcoming Olympic games as an inspiration for daily studies. Parents were invited into classrooms to see their children’s completed summer projects after the open house performance.

Hutchinson Middle School seventh-grader David Vera Robles and his classmates created a new Olympic game called “Trap the Torch.”

“We learn about teamwork and how we can learn on our own,” Robles said. “The important thing is to not be afraid of other people. You can achieve anything if you try hard enough.”

Migrant education students can qualify for education and health services based on their parents’ work, typically if their parents move from city to city looking for seasonal agricultural work. The program also provides workshops for parents to help their children succeed in school.

“Our teachers’ dedication to our students is one of the main reasons why the District’s migrant education program excels,” NLMUSD Board President Karen Morrison said. “Thank you to our parents for their continued enthusiasm in supporting the program.”


NLMUSD_MIGRANTED1: NLMUSD Migrant Education students hold Olympic torches high in the air while singing “Hand in Hand” during a showcase performance held at Edmondson Elementary School.

NLMUSD_MIGRANTED2: NLMUSD Migrant Education students showcase their musical talents on drums, recorders and keyboards while performing the Olympic Games theme music at Edmondson Elementary School.

NLMUSD_MIGRANTED3: David Vera Robles, at left, and his classmates, explain the rules for “Trap the Torch,” an original game they created for the Olympics as part of their studies during NLMUSD’s Migrant Education summer session at Edmondson Elementary School.