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“From the Heart of a Seventh-Grader”: Connecting the 2020 Census to Technology and Educational Resources

  • Michelle Zhang is the 3rd Place winner in the 6th-8th Grade category of the Alhambra Source 2020 Census Storytelling Contest. She is an 8th grader at Martha Baldwin Elementary. Photo courtesy of Michael Zhang.

  • Michelle Zhang is the 3rd Place winner in the 6th-8th Grade category of the Alhambra Source 2020 Census Storytelling Contest. She is an 8th grader at Martha Baldwin Elementary. Photo courtesy of Michael Zhang.


Alhambra , CA United States

The Alhambra Source 2020 Census Storytelling Contest, co-sponsored by the Alhambra Unified School District, was created to educate local students on the importance of this year’s count and inspire them to engage their family and friends on the topic of the 2020 census. This student engagement series offers students an opportunity to voice their opinions, track their experience learning about this year’s count, and begin a conversation with the community at large.

This week’s story is by Michelle Zhang, now an eighth-grade student at Martha Baldwin Elementary. Her story, “’From the Heart of a Seventh-Grader’: Connecting the 2020 Census to Technology and Educational Resources,” highlights technological resources she find vital at school and their connections to the census count. Michelle is the 3rd Place winner in the 6th-8th Grade Category.

This is the second to last story of the Census Storytelling Contest series. Stay tuned for the final release next Thursday. Click here to find the initial announcement along with links to their stories.

“From the Heart of a Seventh-Grader”: Connecting the 2020 Census to Technology and Educational Resources

By Michelle Zhang

Funding in school helps me live the best life in school with the best school supplies and the best staff. It helps me put on a beaming smile when I go to school, enjoying every single moment of my childhood. In addition, it also helps me achieve my goals in an easier path and prepare me for a successful future. If funding was cut from my school because of a low census count, many student’s perspectives in school would change. Every student wouldn’t have that enjoyable moment in school that they’ve all been waiting for anymore because of a low census count in Alhambra. We wouldn’t be able to have fun yet educational activities in Martha Baldwin anymore. If funding was cut, students would just learn and get back to work repeatedly every single day in the same way the students were taught last year and the year before.

If funding was cut from my school because of a low census count, it would affect my education by cutting down the number of Chromebooks and technology we use in class, not being able to afford new textbooks to pass out to students, having fewer school supplies to share to students, and so much more. Also, we wouldn’t be able to have and afford such a successful school with new ways of learning and devices used to help students find their special way of learning. Chromebooks are my favorite electronics to use at Martha Baldwin. These laptops are a new way of learning and it has prepared me for online learning during quarantine. I think every student should enjoy and have access to these technologies, but if we receive a low census count, there will be fewer Chromebooks. Therefore, it affects our school with a huge negative impact because not everyone will have their own Chromebooks to use at school and some may never experience the new technologies that our present lives have given us. This would affect my education and many other students living in Alhambra because we wouldn’t be able to afford as many educational resources like Chromebooks to help children find a way of learning that suits themselves.

I enjoy special activities hosted at our school because it helps me take a break from all the concentration and brain-power used during class time. If we have a low census count, we may lose activities like our monthly PAWS assemblies, monthly raffles, book fairs, and more. What I especially love about Martha Baldwin are their field trips. This year, all seventh-graders were fortunate enough to go to the Medieval Times thanks to all the funding! It was the best day of seventh grade that I would never forget. What I enjoyed the most was that I got to lift off the heavyweights from my shoulders and relax with my friends that day. However, without the funding, these fun times during school may not continue to happen. If we aren’t able to go on field trips anymore due to the cut funds, I’d feel very depressed and disappointed because field trips are one of my favorite things I love about school. I’d feel depressed because field trips are events where I get to bond with my friends and spend quality time, yet I get to learn something new. My family barely goes to any new places, so field trips change this situation. I would also feel disappointed since this problem all started because only a few people took the census. This tells me how much people don’t care about their community since there was a low census count. If citizens really care about Alhambra, then we would complete the 2020 census, and schools would continue to have field trips and other fun activities that put a smile on every student in Martha Baldwin.

Even though this essay isn’t perfectly written or detailed, it truly comes from the heart of a seventh-grader. There have been tough times in my life where things are not the way I wanted, but Martha Baldwin has always been there for me. This school consists of all my friends, teachers, and staff that care about me and teach me new lessons that will help me succeed in my future career. I may not be a professional writer, but taking the census would mean a lot to every single student in Alhambra, and I mean it. We love our community, including the school. If we don’t take the census, many of our favorite activities would vanish. New ways to educate students would decrease because of the low amount of money given based on the 2020 census. If Alhambra cares and loves every citizen every single day, then we should give back the love by completing the 2020 census, making dreams and goals of every student come true.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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