Did you know the Monterey County Office of Education's Migrant Education Program serves the largest migrant population in the state of California?
The Migrant Education Program was established to meet the unique educational and social needs of migratory children between the ages of 3 to 22 years old. The program celebrates and exercises its legacy of civil rights by ensuring equal access to a high quality education for all migrant children.
One example of what the Migrant Education Program brings to our students is the annual Region XVI Speech & Debate Tournament.
The first Region XVI Speech & Debate Tournament was held in March of 2010. Every year, first place winners go on to compete in the State Speech & Debate Tournament in May. Students begin to prepare for the tournament in December at their respective schools in small group instruction. The Speech & Debate Tournament offers migrant students an opportunity to compete academically in a safe and supportive and environment. The tournament requires migrant students to sharpen their critical thinking, research and public speaking skills. In addition students must carefully organize information to develop compelling arguments and clearly express their thoughts and ideas grounding them in credible sources. Finally, the Speech and Debate Tournament fosters teamwork, self-confidence and teaches students to resolve conflicts using thoughtful and strategic language.
Coaches attend professional development sessions in January at which they explore the speech and debate topics, participate in mock debates and practice speeches, and gain knowledge on numerous tools, strategies and techniques to utilize during preparation sessions with students. Students attend a 1-day regional training in February designed to build self-confidence, motivate learning, and expose them to specific techniques to guide their research and development of their topic.
The 2016 Regional Speech & Debate Tournament was held last Saturday, March 12th at Salinas High School.
Approximately 200 students in grades 6 to 12 competed in speech and debate in English and Spanish.
Congratulations to all participants and winners and best of luck at the State Tournament in May!