Census day comes every ten years on April 1. When Coloradans fill out the census, it determines how federal funds are allocated to each state. After the 2010 census, Colorado received over $13 billion throughout the decade for schools, transportation services and other state-funded projects and programs.
Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee works to encourage Roaring Fork Valley residents to fill out the census. The organization's Rachel Brenneman says young children are one of the least counted populations.
"One million kids under the age of five were not counted in the United States in the 2010 census," she said. "So that represents $2 billion worth of funding (nationwide) that was lost for vital services."
For every person not counted, Colorado loses $2,300 of funding per person per year.
Between 2011 and 2018, local school districts in the Roaring Fork Valley, including Roaring Fork Schools and Aspen Schools, received more than $25 million. That money helped fund nutritional programs, transportation services and academic resources for special needs students.
To ensure parents know to count all of their children, regardless of age, Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee was planning to go into Roaring Fork Schools Wednesday to do activities with students. Stickers were going to be given to students to take home to their parents as a reminder to be counted. With the spread of COVID-19, those plans have changed.
"Unfortunately, the kids are not in school," Brenneman said. "Our alternative plans are mainly digital."
Statistics and resources can be found on Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee's website. The census can be filled out online, by calling 1-844-330-2020 for English speakers, 1-844-468-2020 for Spanish speakers or by filling out a mail-in form.