MARCH 2, 2020 – The U.S. Census Bureau and teachers across the nation today kicked off “Statistics in Schools Week: Everyone Counts!”— a nationwide initiative to encourage pre-K-12 educators to help their communities achieve a complete 2020 Census count. During the week of March 2-6, schools and teachers are encouraged to use free classroom resources and activities from the Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools (SIS) program to teach students about the importance of the census. Census results help determine how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed over the next 10 years to communities for critical public services and infrastructure like emergency response, fire departments, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges.
"Statistics in Schools Week: Everyone Counts! is a time for students across the country to learn together about the importance of counting everyone in the 2020 Census and have fun using data that reflect everyday life in the classroom. I have personally visited with schools and entire school districts that are fully engaged in making sure everyone is counted,” Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham said. “Educators play such an important role in shaping our children’s future and they can also help shape the future of their schools and communities for the next decade by using and sharing key information with their students to take home to parents and caregivers to encourage response."
Director Dillingham has visited with school children all over the country including recently in Cleveland, Ohio; Anchorage, Alaska; and Memphis, Tenn., where he attended a fall festival with more than 1,000 school children. He has seen first hand how school teachers and administrators have embraced the Statistics in Schools program.
A SIS digital toolkit is available for teachers to use in their classrooms that includes a roadmap of the week’s daily themes; a printable flyer for educators; a take-home flyer for students; and news releases, social media content and talking points to help administrators, principals and teachers spread the word about their participation in Everyone Counts! week. The toolkit also includes resources on topics such as the changing population of our nation and how the census affects congressional representation. At the end of the week, educators are encouraged to give students the 2020 Census take-home flyer. This flyer provides vital information for the adults in students’ homes about the importance of completing the census and including every person — even newborns — in their household. The census questionnaire is available in English and 12 additional languages to make it accessible to as many households as possible.
“Most households will receive their first invitation to respond to the census the second week of March and an accurate count means that all kids are counted,” said Dillingham. “It only happens once every 10 years, and we need everybody’s help to get an accurate count to help ensure federal funds and resources are spent where they are needed most for the next decade.”
The SIS program offers pre-K-12 educators free online activities, games and other resources to help them incorporate more statistics into their lessons. For the 2019-2020 school year, the SIS program — in partnership with teachers nationwide — created 67 new 2020 Census activities and many other materials, including a song, interactive videos and wall maps. Versions are available for English language learners as well as for adults learning English as a second language. More than 100 available resources help students use census data in interactive ways to build skills in a variety of subjects. All of these resources are available on the SIS website with no registration required.
For more information on the SIS program and new 2020 Census materials, visit www.census.gov/schools.