Take a second to make a difference

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By The Staff

I’d like to take a moment to highlight an interesting opportunity to make a connection with your children regarding the 2010 census.

Recently you may have found the Census in your mailbox. “Bernadette, how is this connected to Assets,” you might ask. I think this has a connection on many levels.

April 1 is Census Day. The Census is a simple questionnaire that is conducted every 10 years.

This document is important for a variety of funding determinants and decisions made during the next 10 years.

The reason I think this is an important relation to children is that they can see how a small amount of time on everyone’s part results in some pretty important work, much like the work of Assets.

Families can fill out this document together, showing our youth somewhat like an election, how everybody needs to do their part. Another interesting thing is that 10 years from now, the time spent together might be a long-term memory for them.

It is also important as adults that we return the Census forms or it will cost the government a huge amount for a representative to come to your door. In these economic times, every penny makes a difference and if we knowingly can save money, we should do so.

Many teachers are using the data collection for the Census as a teachable moment. Classes, even at a third-grade level are collecting school data and doing their own type of Census collection on-site. This is a great idea because when students, no matter what age, are able to see how the work at school applies to everyday life, it has more of an impact.

The Census only has       10 questions and it is estimated to only take 10 minutes to complete and the information is never shared, by law.

Did you know that according to Census literature, conducting the Census every 10 years is a requirement in the U.S. Constitution?

Luckily we have a little bit of time to return the materials that are arriving this month. If you’re anything like me it is added to the pile of things to do when there’s some down time. Those that aren’t returned by May will be subject to a home visit by a Census taker. They will visit every home that did not return the questionnaire by mail. The amount it will cost per home visit is exorbitant when compared to the time it actually takes to fill it out and add your small amount of postage.

Again by law, the Census Bureau will deliver the population count to the President by December of 2010.

The redistricting data and the number of seats in the U.S House of Representatives will be determined by the simple form you fill out.

So in some situations the time spent filling out this form today will still play a role in their lives when some of today’s young people are old enough to vote.

This small effort represents Constructive Use of Time, Boundaries and Expectations, Positive Family Communication and more.

It also shows students on a different level how something they do today can affect you 10 years from now.

If you would like to know more, visit the Web site at www.2010census.gov.