Migrant workers' kids learn about parents' livelihood

January 21, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer
  • Holtville Migrant Head Start supervisor Julieta Conway helps Chloe Flores, 4, pick broccoli. CUAUHTEMOC BELTRAN PHOTO

HOLTVILLE — Most Imperial Valley children of migrant farm workers in the Imperial Valley don't know why their parents must move north every summer. Most children don't know about agriculture.

A program in Holtville's migrant child development center from the Imperial County Office of Education is teaching pre-school migrant children about agriculture and its significance in the Imperial Valley.

Julieta Conway, the program's site supervisor in Holtville, started the program about 10 years ago. About five years ago she took a little patch of dry land next to her classroom and with the help of local agriculture companies and parents of students turned it into a garden that she calls "Garden of Delight."

"It's nice because it teaches them (the students) about the work their parents do," said Conway.

The children learn about tilling, planting, cultivating, irrigating and harvesting.

Conway starts by asking the parents of her students if their companies would be interested in helping. Representatives from the companies then give presentations about agriculture. They also help Conway in planting several vegetable seeds in her small garden.


In October she planted cauliflower, broccoli, celery, red and green cabbage, lettuce, Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and winter flowers.

On Friday, those fully grown vegetables were taken home by 30 of Conway's students ages 3 to 5.

This year, Conway received help from Raul Cortez, father of Cynthia Cortez, 4, and Ernesto De La Torre, the father of one of Conway's students last year.

In April, she will plant watermelons, cantaloupe, radishes and more.

"The parents are great. It is great parent involvement," she said.

Conway offered to help any other programs that wish to start a similar project. She suggests they contact her at 356-5389.

>> Staff Writer Mario Renteria can be reached at 337-3441.

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