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From TikTok to Sign Staking: This is How You Can Start Census Outreach Immediately

  • Sophia Nitta received an Honorable Mention in the 6th-8th Grade category of the Alhambra Source 2020 Census Storytelling Contest. She is an 8th grader at St. Thomas Moore Catholic School. Photo courtesy of Lily Nitta.

  • Sophia Nitta received an Honorable Mention in the 6th-8th Grade category of the Alhambra Source 2020 Census Storytelling Contest. She is an 8th grader at St. Thomas Moore Catholic School. Photo courtesy of Lily Nitta.


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. With the 2020 Census deadline now cut by a month, anything you can do to get the word out about this year’s count is crucial.

This week’s story is by Sophia Nitta, an eighth-grade student at St. Thomas Moore Elementary. Her story, “From TikTok to Sign Staking: This is How You Can Start Census Outreach Immediately,” reviews creative outreach strategies anyone can do while being socially distant. Sophia received an Honorable Mention in 6th-8th Grade Category.

This story concludes the Alhambra Source x AUSD 2020 Census Storytelling Contest. Special thanks to the members of the Alhambra Source advisory board which includes local leaders, established educators, and media professionals, who were among the judges that graded the entries. The Alhambra Source would also like to thank AUSD board member Robert L. Gin, for his generous support for this contest. Click here to find the initial announcement along with links to their stories.

From TikTok to Sign Staking: This is How You Can Start Census Outreach Immediately

By Sophia Nitta

Imagine your community without paved streets, unkempt parks, and no street signals.

The United States 2020 Census is very important because it greatly benefits all Americans. It provides money for various things, such as roads, public schools, and parks. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, some people may not be participating in the Census due to fear or lack of knowledge. Luckily, there are ways to participate while practicing social distancing. There are means to bring about awareness by using social media, traditional methods, and school networks.

First of all, social media is a substantial part of our everyday lives. Americans everywhere have social media accounts, such as TikTok or Instagram. TikTok is a major platform right now, especially during this time of quarantine. Adults and children alike spend time on the app, and posting about the Census could bring about awareness. Although the app started out with mostly teenagers, elderly people have created accounts as well. Creating videos on the app is easy and quick, therefore posting videos about participating in the Census is a major way to promote it. In addition, another huge social media platform is Instagram. Almost all Americans have an Instagram account, and it is a widely known platform. People can post photos and can also add pictures or text to their stories. No matter how many followers you have, raising awareness can reach farther than you think. Utilizing TikTok or Instagram is an excellent way to spread the word while practicing social distancing. However, what about those who don’t have social media?

Secondly, putting up census reminder signs is an old-fashioned yet effective method to bring awareness to communities. Staking signs in your front yard is an awesome way to remind people to participate in the Census. If you live somewhere near a public setting, such as across the street from a park like I do, putting signs in front of your home would reach walkers, joggers, cyclists, and motorists. Even though quarantine is going on, people continue to go on walks and runs around the park, while keeping their distance from others. Seeing the sign would remind them to be responsible and complete the Census if they have not already done so. Encouraging neighbors to place signs on their yard would bring even more awareness. It is our duty to encourage neighbors and strangers alike to participate in this year’s United States Census.

Lastly, another way to inspire people to participate in the Census is to bring awareness around schools. If a student is on their school’s student council, they would have a great advantage. If they are not on the student council, there is a solution. They could email their school’s student council moderator and add a reminder to their school’s newsletter. Teachers could also teach students about what the Census is and why it is so important. Making sure that students understand what the Census is would make a huge difference in the number of participants. Some parents are not English speakers. They might need their child to help them answer the questions and complete the Census. A child could help their parents because their school explained how important it is to submit.

Social media, traditional methods, and school networks are excellent ways to bring awareness to the United States 2020 Census. These ideas will motivate people to participate in the census and to be aware of why it is crucial. Reminding and encouraging people to take part in it will benefit everyone in the United States, even if you are a baby or not a citizen of the country. Everyone counts and needs to be counted in order for our great country to thrive.

Want to learn more about the 2020 Census? Click here to watch the Alhambra Source x APIFM Census 101 series which was translated to English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

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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