The next U.S. census is right around the corner, and as part of a national campaign to encourage participation, the 2010 U.S. Census in Schools, a division of the Census Bureau, has created a K12 educational program called It’s About Us. In May, the department sent an introductory letter to every principal in the country describing the vital importance of census participation and in August sent the same principals census instructional kits containing wall maps and lesson guides for their teachers. Additional teaching materials are available free online.
Developed in collaboration with Scholastic, the instructional materials include five leveled units for grades K-12 aligned to standards in mathematics, geography, English language arts and social studies. Additional materials include census maps, multimedia resources, state specific statistics, and sections for students in grades K-5 and for teens. “We’re trying to surround households with census information,” says Renee Jefferson-Copeland, chief of the Census in Schools program, “and inform students about it, not just as part of their education but in the hope that they will push their parents to participate.”
To access all of the free teaching materials available, visit the U.S. Census in Schools Web site: www.census.gov/schools. —Kurt O.E. Dyrli