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September 8, 2000 Contact: Kevin Boatright
(608) 263-2227

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. Department of Education Awards $1 Million Grant to University of Wisconsin System for Migrant Worker Project

MADISON - The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the University of Wisconsin System a four-year grant for $1.0 million through the federal Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) program.

The grant will help develop partnerships that will provide on-line educational and career exploration programming and services to migrant farm workers and their high school-age children in Wisconsin.

In announcing the grant at today's UW System Board of Regents meeting, President Katharine Lyall described the project, known as "Reach Out," as an "important further step in our efforts to help address Wisconsin's labor shortage and build opportunities as well."

The UW System is joined in the project by UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Extension, and the UW Colleges. Other partners are United Migrant Opportunity Services in Wisconsin and the Midwest Food Processors Association. Lupe Martinez, executive director of United Migrant Opportunity Services, said "Historically, education has been a barrier for migrants who wish to find employment outside of the migrant stream. We are excited for the migrant and seasonal farm workers that we serve, to be able to offer to this unique concept in mobilized education access."

The UW System institutions will provide summer precollege experiences and faculty and staff mentors for migrant families. Each year, Reach Out will serve more than 2,000 migrant families on-line and up to 100 migrant adults and children through their summer programs. The estimated total cost of the program is $2.1 million. LAAP funds will be matched with funds from UW System and its partners.

The LAAP grant to the UW System is one of 10 announced recently by the U.S. Department of Education, totaling $10.6 million. Other lead recipients include the University of Tennessee, Kansas State University, Fordham University, and Montana State University.

Lyall congratulated Salvador Carranza, senior institutional planner in the UW System Office of Multicultural Affairs, for developing the Reach Out project and pursuing the LAAP grant.

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