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2020 Census program invites teachers to become ambassadors

SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program invites Illinois teachers to become 2020 Census ambassadors. Ambassadors will champion the 2020 Census in their classrooms, schools, and communities and in doing so help Illinois achieve a complete 2020 Census count.

Ideal candidates are active pre-K through 12th-grade teachers who are interested in spearheading a national initiative at their schools while shaping the future of their communities through social media, collaboration, and leadership. Teachers may email [email protected] to apply by July 31.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the census to ensuring Illinois’ students receive all the support they deserve to access to the best possible resources,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. 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 pre-K through 12th-grade students about the importance of a complete and accurate census count. All teachers can access free and engaging 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 this knowledge with adults in their home.

Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order last month cementing the state’s comprehensive effort to ensure an accurate count of all communities in Illinois for the 2020 Census. This count will affect Illinois’ representation in Congress and the allocation of many federal education grants for the next 10 years. These funds provide school meals; services for students with learning, emotional, and physical disabilities; programs for students from homes with limited resources; and supports for teachers. Illinois schools rely heavily on federal funding to provide an equitable and well-rounded education to all students.

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, which is one of the largest state investments across the country. For more information on Illinois’ census efforts, visit census.illinois.gov.