A census 2020 initiative involving NYC students launched by nonprofit HITN in collaboration with Schneps Media and CUNY will begin its online voting July 15.
An estimated 70,000 New York City children were missed in the 2010 Census and projections show that NYC is one of the places that face the highest risk of undercounting children in the 2020 Census.
The city has been historically undercounted, putting important segments of the population, in particular Black and Hispanic people, at a disadvantage for fair and accurate representation.
With this in mind and understanding the significant impact that the census has on securing access to essential resources for the community, HITN, Schneps Media and CUNY launched the ¡Tú Cuentas! 2020 Census Essay Writing Contest for fourth graders across hard-to-count areas in all five boroughs to raise awareness of the need for children to be counted in the 2020 Census. More than 300 students from 15 elementary schools, including three schools from the Bronx, P.S. 55, P.S. 105 and P.S. 106 participated.
Naomi Rivera, who is leading the initiative, said there have been about 300 essays submitted and they have all been very impressive. She said that the fourth graders took the contest seriously, especially because they discovered that the census could impact how their communities are funded.
“We wanted them to learn very locally how this would impact them if we don’t have an accurate count,” Rivera said.
CUNY, a partner in this initiative, has assigned CUNY CORP students to read the essays and select a finalist from each school.
One winner from each school will get to represent their school and the borough in which they live. The 15 citywide winning finalists will compete for the title of HITN NYC Census Student Ambassador, which will be voted on in August.