The primary goal of the Census in Schools initiative is to help students learn about the importance of the Census so they can encourage their families to complete and return the 2010 Census questionnaire. It is essential that we raise student awareness of the Census statewide, but particularly in language-minority, low income and other hard-to-count communities to help increase questionnaire return rates.
The Census Bureau has developed a range of 2010 Census learning materials for K-12 schools. In August 2009, the Census Bureau mailed complimentary kits to superintendents and K-8 principals throughout the state that included wall maps and quick-start resource guides. In October 2009, wall maps and mini teaching guides were mailed to social studies chairs in all high schools.
These materials and others are available online at www.census.gov/schools. With them, K-8 students will be able to sharpen their skills in critical thinking, reading comprehension, history, math, geography, and data and map analysis. High school students will have opportunities to deepen their knowledge about the history of the Census, demographics, apportionment, redistricting, and other topics. The standards, lesson plans, and resources prepared by the Census Bureau are consistent with the standards in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.
I hope you will plan with the teachers in your schools to use these materials in educating students about the Census and its importance to Massachusetts residents, particularly during the week of March 1-5.