Every ten years, beginning in 1790, a census has taken place in the United States. Census data helps determines what happens in our communities. One of the most important parts of our community is our schools. On the United States Census 2020 website’s community impact page, this “Did you know?” was shared:
Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education. Schools could miss out on important funding due to low participation.
April 1 is considered Census Day, but it is not the day the census form must be completed. It is simply a reference date. People can complete the census online, by mail, and in-person before or after this date. It takes no more than ten minutes to complete. Participants are asked to confirm where they live and provide other information such as who lives with them, their race, and their age.
It is also important for children to understand the census. For many children, the next time the census happens, they will be adults. Hopefully, they will complete the form in 2030, but they need to understand the purpose of it now. On the United States Census 2020 website, there is a K-12 education page with resources for children to learn about the census. With children across the United States at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be a good resource for parents or educators to use to teach children. It would be relevant and timely.
Also, in Indianapolis, there is a coloring book parents can print from the Count Me INdy Facebook page. This book explains how the census impacts different aspects of society. The end of the coloring book asks children to draw a picture envisioning 2030.
Before we get to 2030, people must consider what will happen if funding gets decreased because the 2020 census data is not there to support a certain level of spending. Filling out the census does not only impact the person completing it, but it impacts everyone especially our children.