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Interpreting the Evidence

New York State Migrant Tutorial Education Outreach Network Flyer, 1976

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Contemporary United States (1965 - present)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load New York State Migrant Tutorial Education Outreach Network Flyer, 1976 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load New York State Migrant Tutorial Education Outreach Network Flyer, 1976 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Flyer advertising tutorial programs for children of migrant agricultural workers in New York State, 1976.
Historical Context
A migrant worker is someone who works on a regular basis away from his or her home, if indeed they have a home. The term overlaps with foreign worker, and some official definitions treat the two as identical. The United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families defines a migrant worker as “a person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.” This convention has been ratified by Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines, as well as many other nations that supply foreign labor, but has not been ratified by many other nations, including the United States, Germany, and Japan, all of which depend on foreign labor.

In the United States, the term migrant worker is most commonly used to describe low-wage workers performing manual labor, often in agriculture. The term migrant worker may also refer to any person who works at seasonal jobs and moves around from one job to another.  Examples of professions that could be called migrant workers, some of them quite lucrative, include electricians in the construction industry, other construction workers who travel from one construction job to another, wildland firefighters in the western United States, and possibly even interstate truck drivers.

In America’s history, starting at the end of the American Civil War, hobos were migrant workers who performed much of the agricultural work, using freight railroads as their means of transportation to new jobs. During the collapse of capitalism in the Great Depression, Okies who fled the Dust Bowl were a significant source of temporary farm labor. The term migrant worker is also used currently for workers from China’s impoverished west who go to work in the more prosperous east.
Essential Question
How does a society educate new members with different cultural backgrounds?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the main idea of this flyer and explain how New York State educates the children of migrant workers.
Historical Challenges
With a group, create a Migrant Workers Bill of Rights. Use magazine pictures to create your own collage with themes and issues of importance to migrant workers.
Research laws in the United States and New York concerning migrant farm workers and their families. Make a chart and show the comparisons.
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a play describing the first week of school of a migrant child approximately your age.
Art: Create a poster advertising this Tutorial Outreach Program to parents of migrant children.