Using children as census ambassadors

    100,000 Delaware students will be studying the census at school this year. Census officials hope they share what they learn with their family.

    Kids in 274 Delaware schools will learn about the 2010 census with materials provided by the federal government.  The Census in Schools program is designed to teach students about the importance of the census, so they can take that message to their family.

    Director of the Census Bureau Robert Groves presented the program at Bancroft Elementary School.  “Each of these lessons are part of the way that we teach the fact that the census is this deeply constitutional event that we do every ten years for reapportionment purposes,” says Groves.  He adds that the census is used to determine how more than $400 billion in tax dollars are spent, “It makes a difference for the day to day lives of kids, their parents, their communities.”

    Senator Tom Carper (D) who is the chair of the Senate subcommittee overseeing the 2010 census says it’s especially important for a small state like Delaware to get an accurate count so the state gets what it deserves.  “Under-counting still remains an issue for many communities throughout our country, and with the technology we have today, that’s just not acceptable.”  Carper says more than 7,000 people in New Castle County weren’t counted in the 2000 census.  “Not counting people is like saying, ‘You don’t count,'” Carper says.

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    Governor Jack Markell (D) says it’s vitally important that the state gets an accurate population count, so that the state can get the resources it needs.  “We all know that a piece of paper with the regulation, or for that matter a law that passes the legislature doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the resources.”

    The school kits will provide age-specific material for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Those materials include maps with population counts and lesson plans.

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