The U.S. Census Bureau is working to ensure every child is counted in the 2020 Census. The goal of a partnership formed between Marshall County Schools and the U.S. Census Bureau is to help bring awareness about the importance of being counted in the census, no matter the person’s age.
Thursday afternoon, Center McMechen Elementary students joined in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools Week activities aimed to bring school subjects to life using real-world Census Bureau data. With the 2020 Census just days away, this year’s theme, “Everyone Counts,” focused on educating students about the importance of the once-a-decade tally.
With many lessons concentrated on the importance of voting this year, Center McMechen Elementary Principal Arica Holt recognized 2020 brings the opportunity to teach students the significance of another civic duty: completing the decennial census.
“People often forget to include children, especially young children, on their census forms,” said Holt. “If we miss counting children in 2020, we don’t get to count them again until 2030. That means West Virginia misses out on 10 years of the Congressional representation and funding we need – and deserve.”
Students took a virtual tour of the U.S. Census Bureau to learn more about how census data is collected and used. They also participated in a sing-along of the Census song “Everyone Counts!” and were able to take a student census to learn about counting and the census process. “In 2030, some of our students will be old enough to complete the census at college or their own residence. Introducing them to civic duties now will help them become more well-rounded members of their community,” Holt said.
More than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed annually according to decennial census data. Title I funding, the National School Lunch Program, special education grants, classroom technology, and head start are just a few of the education programs that rely on the count. The census also determines how many representatives West Virginia will have in Congress. The 2020 Census will be available online, by phone and by paper form.