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2020 Census Campaign Launches in Memphis

  • Students and teachers from Shelby County Schools in Memphis recently joined forces with the U.S. Census Bureau to kickoff the 2020 Census Statistics in Schools program.

    The event was held at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis and showcased new classroom activities to help schools teach students the importance of having everyone in their families counted in the census next March.

    Joining some 1,000 students and teachers was Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray, who reinforced the importance of an accurate count. The results of the census affect children directly since it determines what share the county receives of the $675 billion in federal funding that is allocated based on census findings, he said. “These things translate into funding for classrooms, can reduce class size, and increase instructional support,” he added. “I’m talking about technology for classrooms, free- and reduced-price lunch meals—all the things that have a direct correlation on student achievement.”  Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham

    Attendees also heard from U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, who urged teachers and students to be leaders in their communities. “Today, we’re issuing a national call to action here in Memphis,” he said.  “We’re asking every school in the entire country to partner with the 2020 Census and to make sure to get all the families involved and everyone counted. Everyone matters. Everyone should be counted in the census.”

    The Statistics in Schools program was created to help teachers use census data to teach about the importance of statistics, the census, and to help students talk to their families about the importance of being counted. It offers K-12 educators free, online activities, games, and other resources to help them bring real statistics into their classrooms.

    For the 2019-2020 school year, the SIS program — in partnership with teachers from across the country — created 67 new classroom activities and other materials, including a song, interactive videos and wall maps. There are also new classroom activities designed for English language learners, including some for adults learning English as a second language. The more than 100 resources available year-round help students use census data in interactive ways to build skills in a variety of subjects. All of the resources are free and available on the SIS website.

    Students participate in Census kickoff “The census only comes around once a decade,” Dillingham said. “A kindergartener counted in the 2020 Census this spring will be in high school when the next census comes around in 2030. That’s 10 years of school supplies, teachers, school lunches, and school resources that are dependent on ensuring every child is counted.”

    Information on the SIS program and the new 2020 Census materials is available at: Census.gov/schools.