Starting in spring 2020, the US Census will count every person living in our country. Every. Single. Person. How cool is that?!
The information collected from the Census is used to decide how many seats each state gets in the US House of Representatives, and how to share $675 billion in federal funds each year. So, getting an accurate count of every person in our country is incredibly important. States that are not fully represented in the Census count will, literally, be shortchanged for the next ten years.
To get an accurate count, the Census asks someone from each household to complete a survey – on paper or online – with information about everyone who lives there, along with some basic information about the home itself.
Many of our neighbors may be nervous about completing the Census survey. It can feel intimidating to answer such personal questions on a form that goes to the government, especially with so many stories about how information is misused these days. The Census takes privacy very, very seriously, and is legally required to keep the information it collects from other government agencies.
Out-of-school time professionals can play a critical role in raising awareness about the Census!
- Encourage community members to respond –Encouraging families to have an eye out for the Census form this spring can make a big difference.
- Emphasize the benefits of being counted – The Census is used throughout our society to make big decisions affecting everyone who lives here. We all should be counted in the Census!
- Respond empathetically to people’s concerns – Community members have legitimate concerns about sharing information with a government agency. Be prepared to listen and to share the facts about why the Census is safe.
There are plenty of great resources to share with your staff, families, and youth!
Count All Kids – a nonpartisan coalition dedicated to assuring that all kids in the US are counted in the Census with family-friendly videos and materials to share.
Census in Schools – more information about why involving families in the Census is important, plus fun lessons for kids about the Census called Statistics in Schools.
Posters, Handouts, and Fact Sheets – helpful information for different communities, available in multiple languages and formats.
For breakfast, I had toast, cottage cheese, and kiwi with the skins on.