Kids Learn to Teach their Parents

It is all about being counted. Questionnaires for the 2010 census will soon arrive in your mailbox. Meanwhile, interactive vehicles helping to promote the official count continue to inform. One made a stop at a school in the River Oaks area.

 The 2010 Census “Take-10” vans are part of the Portrait of America Regional Road Tour. It highlights the importance of a complete count. One van was parked outside the Wharton Dual Academy on West Gray for students and parents to interact with displays on the census. Principal Dannette Maldonado says teachers included the census in their

lesson plans.
“Luckily, the Census Bureau has provided our teachers with curriculum, grade appropriate curriculum, and lots of materials; maps, posters. So its been rather easy to incorporate this in our traditional HISD curriculum.”
PH: “This is like a microcosm of the city, is it not?”
Maldonado: “This school is truly a great representation of the diversity that is Houston, absolutely. Diversity wise, about 71-percent Hispanic, 21-percent African American, about 5-percent Anglo and 3-percent Asian.”
PH: “It’s incredible how the students nare taking this effort to heart.”
Maldonado: “You can ask any student here, how much money’s at stake, and they will tell you. 400-billion dollars in resources to the states from the federal government, and they want to be counted to get their share of the pie.”
Cathanina Tran is with the United States Census. She says a kit called Census in Schools goes to every school in country that helps teachers in their curriculum:
“This is kind of a special case that we’re trying to push for this school, because this has a dual language in Spanish, and it represents the Houston ethnic group very well. Not only that, according to statistics from the year 2000, this is considered our HTC, our HARD TO COUNT area. These people are usually the ones that do not turn in the questionnaire, and we’re hoping through the education system, we can transcend that barrier and encourage participation.”
Wharton’s cafeteria certainly encouraged participation. An assembly featured a series of skits performed by students. Sonia Corrales has two daughters that attend Wharton Dual Academy.
“I think its absolutely amazing that the Census really thought of this marketing idea, because I think it is a marketing idea, that you’re educating the children so they can potentially educate the parents. To me its just absolutely wonderful that the kids are learning about that, and that they’re teaching the parents because she’s  certainly taught me.”