North Pole Library hosts census celebration event

Kids participated in a variety of activities at the North Pole Library census event. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The North Pole Library hosted an event on March 11 celebrating the start of the 2020 U.S. census.

The event, titled Interior Kids Count, constituted a joint effort by the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the Interior Counts Complete Count Committee to raise awareness of the coming census, set to begin March 12. It was preceded by a similar event on March 10 at Noel Wien Library.

Alysha Childs, the FNSB Complete Count Coordinator, said, “Kids under the age of five are the most undercounted population, and so we want to make sure that we’re promoting the census, especially to parents of young children, and doing a fun event for the kids.”

The promotional events included coloring and activity books, musical chairs, counting activities, a scavenger hunt and a story read by North Pole Mayor Mike Welch.

According to Childs, those wishing to fill out the census may do so online at http://my2020census.gov, by mail or by phone. After April 30, enumerators will be going door to door for households that have not responded.

“It takes about ten minutes, it’s ten questions, and it has ten years of impact,” Childs said. “It is vitally important that every member of the interior gets counted. We want to make sure that we get fair representation, both at the congressional level and the nation, but also at the state level, the borough and the city levels. We want to make sure we know what the count is so we can make sure that resources are allocated appropriately.”

Childs added, “$675 billion in federal funding is distributed every year based on census data. [That] comes out to over $3000 per Alaskan. So we want to make sure that every Alaskan is counted to make sure that we are receiving that distribution.”

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