Shaping Our Children’s Future bilingual art kit will be developed, distributed to area daycares, McAllen Public Library
Texas Border Business
The City of Mcallen recently received only one of four grants awarded by the foundation, Texans Care for Children, in the amount of $5,000 to assist the municipality with its efforts for Census 2020 outreach efforts. The City of McAllen will use the grant to print coloring books, purchase supplies, and distribute art kits and Census curriculum to engage and inform youth and their caretakers in the community about the importance and significance of the 2020 Census.
“We seek to enhance the knowledge, understanding, and impact that the Census exercise has on our community. This is a decennial event and we get one chance every 10 years to get it right,” said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, chairman of the City of McAllen Complete Census Count Committee. “The City of McAllen is a Hard-to-Count (HTC) Community, identified as such by the Department of Commerce, the federal agency that is responsible for conducting the Census. In fact, using the Census Response Outreach Area Mapper, 21 of the 31 Census tracts in McAllen have a predicted 25% and higher low response score. Therefore, it is imperative that we find new, interesting and effective ways to get out the message of the importance of participating in the 2020 Census.”
With this grant, the coloring books, curriculum, storytime books, and art kits will be distributed to daycare centers and Headstart programs in those hard-to-count areas throughout McAllen. Additionally, beginning this month, the City of McAllen will hold Census Awareness events targeting youth and their caretakers monthly at the McAllen Main Library and two City of McAllen community centers. Children will go home with Census certificates and toolkits to share with family members.
All materials and curriculum printed will be in both Spanish and English. The goal of the project is to provide awareness and inform specifically young children and their caretakers about the importance of responding to the Census.
“McAllen Public Library staff, who already work with caregivers, youth and Spanish-speaking residents are well-prepared to help break the many barriers to participation,” said Kate Horan, Head Librarian, McAllen Public Library. “The City of McAllen’s Complete Census Count Committee understands that there is a population in our community that has a fear or distrust of government or may not understand the importance of participating in the Census. With this new outreach tool, we will target those low-response areas in McAllen and hopefully, will help to make an impact in the Census 2020 response rate for the City of McAllen.”
In fact, the City of McAllen CCCC is already addressing other Hard-To-Count populations via various educational and public outreach initiatives. As the time for responding draws nearer, look for additional enhanced efforts in reaching the entire community to ensure a better, more complete response from the entire McAllen community.
According to Katie Mitten, Special Projects Manager for Texans Care for Children, the non-profit organization was impressed with the City of McAllen’s application and excited to support the McAllen’s work and commitment to a complete census count in Texas. Texans Care for Children is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to drive policy change to improve the lives of Texas children today for a stronger Texas tomorrow.
The City of McAllen Census 2020 Complete Count Committee will work with its counterparts in neighboring cities, throughout Hidalgo County and even throughout the Rio Grande Valley to help maximize those efforts to ensure that every effort is made to reach everyone in every part of the area.
To learn more about the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, visit www.2020census.gov or follow them on social media.
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