Census program invites teachers to be ambassadors

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for teachers to promote the 2020 Census in their classrooms, schools and communities.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program is inviting Illinois teachers to become 2020 Census ambassadors.

The ambassadors will champion the 2020 Census in their classrooms, schools and communities in the hopes of helping Illinois achieve a complete census count.

Ideal candidates are preschool through 12th-grade teachers who are interested in spearheading a national initiative at their schools and shaping the future of their communities through social media, collaboration and leadership. Teachers can email CLMSO.SISambassador@census.gov by July 31 to apply.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the census to ensuring Illinois’ students receive all the support they deserve to access the best possible resources,” said state Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala. “Teacher ambassadors for the 2020 Census will help shape the future for Illinois’ students and schools. I encourage all teachers to consider applying to serve as leaders in their communities and to promote the importance of the 2020 Census with students, parents and families.”

The Statistics in Schools program uses Census Bureau statistics to educate preschool through 12th-grade students about the importance of a complete and accurate census count. All teachers can access free classroom activities at www.census.gov/schools. New materials for the 2019-20 school year will be used to teach students about the importance of the 2020 Census count and empower them to share the knowledge with adults in their home.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order in June, cementing the state’s effort to ensure an accurate count of all communities in Illinois for the 2020 Census. The count will affect Illinois’ representation in Congress and the allocation of federal education grants for the next 10 years. The funds provide school meals; services for students with learning, emotional and physical disabilities; programs for students from homes with limited resources; and support for teachers. Illinois schools rely heavily on federal funding to provide an equitable and well-rounded education to all students, Ayala said.

The state has committed to promoting equity and inclusion in its census efforts to ensure participation. The Illinois legislature has appropriated $29 million in fiscal year 2020 for census implementation, one of the largest state investments across the country.

For information on Illinois’ census efforts, visit census.illinois.gov.