CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD PITCHES IN

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

New Release February 23, 2000

FOR CENSUS 2000 EDUCATION

Ever the educator, Congressman Robert A. Underwood will teach a lesson on Census 2000 to a class of fifth graders at 8:30 a.m. Friday, February 25 at P.C. Lujan Elementary School in Barrigada, in support of the U.S. Census Bureau’s "Census in Schools" project.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, children accounted for more than 50% of the people not counted in the 1990 census. To ensure more accuracy in the 2000 count, the bureau developed and launched its "Census in Schools" project nationwide, to educate students on the census, its purpose and on the importance of their inclusion by urging their parents to participate. Unlike the educational materials to be used in the States, those for Guam and the other insular territories were designed and developed expressly for these areas. "The unique feature about the teaching materials is that they were tailor-made for us; they use local names and they come with very good maps of Guam," Congressman Underwood said.

Census data is vitally important for such things as planning for the location of health services, schools, roads, public transportation services, land use planning, locating businesses, setting community goals, and more. In addition, the data assists in the annual nationwide allocation of more than $200 billion in federal funding, of which Guam’s count determines its share. "The distribution of these funds is based in large part on the distribution of population," the Congressman said. "It’s important for everyone on Guam to step up and be counted, so that we can present better and more accurate data and hopefully increase our share of federal dollars in areas such as education, health care, and immigration and federal impact."

Of the national media campaign on Census 2000 currently under way, around 200 million dollars’ worth is being spent to target minority groups. And of that, a significant amount is going to specifically target Pacific islanders.

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