To support educators in teaching students about how the 2020 Census will shape the future of the nation for the next 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Statistics in Schools” program has developed new classroom materials for students of all ages to teach them about the importance of statistics in everyday life.
One CNMI teacher, Riya Nathrani, a middle school teacher at Hopwood Middle School in Afetna, is an ambassador for the 2020 SIS program. Nathrani also contributed her expertise to the development of the middle school level activities for the 2020 SIS program.
“Our island is extremely dependent on federal funding for schools, roads, free school lunches, and more. With our rapidly growing and changing island population, it is especially important that we have an accurate census count to continue receiving funding for the resources we need,” Nathrani said.
Children from ages birth to 5 have historically been undercounted in the census, and an accurate count of all children is critical because 2020 Census responses help inform decisions about the distribution of federal funds for services and programs that children and their guardians rely on. These include special education, teacher training, technology, school lunch assistance, Head Start and afterschool programs.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the SIS program offers 67 new activities as well as a song, interactive videos, large maps of the U.S. and its territories, and more—all focused on the 2020 Census. Also new this year are activities designed specifically for English language learners, including adults learning English as a second language.
The new activities help students understand the importance of having everyone in their families counted in the 2020 Census this spring—so communities can get their fair share of federal funding and the right representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Teachers and subject matter experts from across the country worked with the Census Bureau to create each SIS activity, with the goal of making the activities valuable, relevant, and useful for classroom teachers. The activities are available at no cost.
“The SIS Materials are fun and interactive. Some of my students didn’t know what the census was or that it was happening in 2020. These materials have helped them gain a much better understanding of the importance of the census, especially for the islands. These resources make the census much more relatable and they now understand that our school programs, all rely on federal funding,” Nathrani said
Nathrani also leads professional development sessions to inform other teachers about the materials and shares ways to incorporate the activities into their lesson plans.
The SIS materials include exercises that students can complete at home. (PR)