Census workshops hosted by OCDE aim to equip teachers, empower students

OCDE will host free workshops in Irvine and Huntington Beach next month to help teachers learn more about the next census count and develop census-related lessons for students.

Organizers say the goal is to empower students as advocates who can discuss the importance of census participation in their homes and communities. History teachers, social science teachers and elementary teachers will be introduced to curricular options that cover all grade levels, and math instructors will learn how to create lessons and assignments based on census data through the “Statistics in Schools” curriculum.

Census 2020 documents“What we want teachers to walk away with are lessons that they can implement in units of instruction they already teach, thus engaging students in meaningful and relevant ways,” says Marika Manos, OCDE’s history, social science and civics coordinator.

The first “Census 2020 – Count Me In: Taking Content to Action” training will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Brandman University, 16355 Laguna Canyon Road in Irvine. Participants can register at ocde.k12oms.org/1244-174875.

A second session will take place at the same time on Oct. 30 at Teacher Created Materials Publishing, located at 5482 Argosy Ave. in Huntington Beach. Participants can register for this workshop at ocde.k12oms.org/1244-171918.

Not only are the sessions offered for free, OCDE has allocated additional funding to offset the cost of substitute teachers for participants.

As mandated by the Constitution, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide population count once every 10 years. Along with determining the number of congressional seats and electoral votes for each state, this data serves as the basis for allocating nearly $900 billion in federal funds for education, housing, public safety and other vital services.

Recognizing the importance of an accurate count for schools and communities, OCDE is among a number of organizations seeking to generate awareness in advance of the 2020 census. As Manos notes, California is expected to lose about $1,950 per person in annual federal funding as a result of undercounting.

There are a number of reasons a family member might be missed, but fear of divulging sensitive information shouldn’t discourage respondents. By law, any information that’s collected must remain confidential. Those protections are outlined under Title 13 of U.S. Code.

Local families will be asked to answer standard census questions in March. Note that in-person visits are only made to households that don’t respond to online or mailed questionnaires.

For more information about OCDE’s “Census 2020 – Count Me In: Taking Content to Action” trainings, contact Naomi Stanaland at 714-966-4452 or nstanaland@ocde.us.