Written by: Director Robert Groves
The first graders at Gateway Elementary School stole my heart today in St. Louis. I entered their library with a set of officials and there they were, dressed in little white t-shirts promoting the census. After the old folks talked about Census in Schools, the teacher led the students in one of the exercises designed for the K-2 group: a census of the class that measured how the class got to school – by bus, car or foot. (Results: bus and car tied; no walkers.)
Next, each table (containing 3-5 kids) was declared a “household.” One person in the “household” was designated to fill out a census form. At the end, four of the five tables returned their form to the teacher. One table didn’t return the form!
One of the students from another table, directed by the teacher, put on a hat labeled “census taker,” and “visited” the nonrespondent table, to retrieve the form, and then turned it in.
The assembled adults loved the display of the mini-census.
Then the teacher asked the first graders what they learned – they mentioned that a census was a count of all people (but no pets)! I learned that the St. Louis schools are considering sending Census in Schools exercises home with the kids over the holiday break, so that families can complete them together. Cool.