Forward from Cynthia Rice of ACNJ:
Below is an email from my colleague, Peter Chen, who has been leading ACNJ’s 2020 Census work. We are worried about the impact that COVID19 is having on families completing their census forms. It seems that NJ is already lagging slightly behind the national rate. There are NJ communities however, that have a very low completion rate…and we are very worried.
We would appreciate it if you could send this email around to your families and personally take part in the #CensusSelfie challenge! We need your help, but more importantly, so do our kids! Thanks so much and stay well.
I hope you and your family are staying safe!
With Census Day around the corner and all in-person Census events cancelled or postponed, we have had to pivot aggressively to digital outreach around the Census. The coronavirus has hit New Jersey’s Census response rate hard, with NJ lagging the national average.
Because schools remain in touch with families through robo-calls, online learning and check-in updates, we are asking if schools can inform families to fill out their 2020 Census forms.
Could you please send out the following message to your networks? Thank you!
Also if you have additional suggestions for how to encourage families to complete the 2020 Census, please let me know. We are all struggling to figure out how to increase response rates without door knocking, in-person events or gatherings of people.
In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the importance of the social safety net (child care funding, Medicaid, SNAP, school meals, hospitals) has never been clearer, which makes it even more important to have an accurate Census count. The 2020 Census will determine the funding our schools, hospitals and communities get for the next decade!
Although the pandemic has impacted and delayed Census operations, people can still self-respond safely, confidentially and easily from home (online at 2020census.gov, over the phone at 844-330-2020 or by mail). It’s important that we emphasize this to parents and families to ensure all kids are counted.
You know your families best, and you also know that they need support in this confusing time. Here are some messages we suggest sending at this time.
If you are closed and in touch with your parents/families:
- If you are checking in with parents, ask them if they’ve completed the Census and direct them to 2020census.gov if they have not.
- If you have an email newsletter or update, include a link to the 2020 Census with each message (sample message: “Don’t forget to make your kids count in the 2020 Census. It takes just 10 minutes! Complete your Census safely from home at 2020Census.gov”)
- If you have an active parent base, ask them if they can text or call 5 people from their contacts to remind them to complete the Census.
- Ask parents to post their #CensusSelfie on social media of them completing their 2020 Census. (Instructions here: https://acnj.org/take-action-censusselfie-challenge/ )
- Send families a copy of the “We Count!” Ebook to read with their children (Download for free with the code EBOOK at checkout: https://www.wecountkids.org/download-ebook)
How you can help individually
- Share a #CensusSelfie of your own Census completion and share with your families and personal networks (Instructions here: https://acnj.org/take-action-censusselfie-challenge/ )
- Share this email and information with other educators, families or government officials in your area.
- Encourage your friends, families, and personal contacts to complete the 2020 Census.
- Share ACNJ’s 7-minute “What You Need To Know” about the Census with your staff.
ACNJ’s Census Ambassador materials are all still available on the ACNJ website: https://acnj.org/census2020nj/
Thank you so much!