I’ve noted the Obama administration’s use of children as Census p.r. staff before. (See Meet Obama’s newest Census collectors: Your kids!, Aug. 27, 2009).
Brace for even more aggressive tactics in the classroom — like this effort in Florida (hat tip – reader Susanne):
Ariel Civelek was just a baby in the last U.S. Census, but this time around, the 11-year-old can tell her family how important it is to be counted.
Civelek was among hundreds of students at Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School who got an earful and an eyeful about the national survey at a rally in the school cafeteria Wednesday.
Recognizing the power of getting the message out through the schools, the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday launched its 2010 Census in Schools program. The idea is for teachers to integrate census-related information into subjects like social studies and math.
“Any child is a good spokesperson,” said Renee Jefferson Copeland, chief of the program, who spoke to the fourth- and fifth-graders at the rally.
Part of a $13 billion national public information effort, the program is designed to reach 118,000 schools and about 56 million students. The goal is to improve response rates over the 2000 census, the last big national count.
At the kickoff Wednesday, students performed a skit in which they pretended to be a family uncertain about the census. During the skit, a child encourages his parents to open the door to a census worker, despite their apprehension. Beside a prop bowl of spaghetti, the worker helps the hesitant parents fill out the form.
It’s a scenario that could play out many times next spring when the forms arrive. Households can expect census forms in March and they should be returned by April. An army of census takers will follow up between April and July with those who do not return the forms in the mail.
Like Bill Ayers says: Education is the motor force of revolution.
Earlier today: The Census boondoggle: $340 million ad campaign