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First Grade Census

Thu Dec 03 2009
Robert Groves
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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.)

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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!

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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.

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The assembled adults loved the display of the mini-census.

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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.

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Director Robert Groves

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