Area governments promoting U.S. Census

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 16, 2010

VIDALIA — With only 15 days left for citizens to mail their census forms back, local governments are doing what they can to encourage census participation.

In Vidalia, that means giving away kites.

Saturday, the Vidalia Census 2010 Complete Count Committee will host a kite day on the riverfront.

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“We will be giving away 250 kites to the first 250 children who get there, and we will also be showing them how to make kites out of a garbage bag or newspaper, the old fashioned way,” said Guylyn Boles, who is working on the census committee.

And while the children are flying kites, a booth with census information will be set up nearby so their parents can fill out forms.

The committee has made appearances at the local school board, provided information to local churches and the ministerial alliance and spoken to local civic organizations, Boles said.

“We also have some coloring books we are going to give to some of the local day cares,” she said.

In Ferriday, town employees passed out T-shirts and census-themed cups at the black history parade that rolled through town at the beginning of the month, and Mayor Glen McGlothin said Friday they were out passing out informational pamphlets and fliers.

A census worker is also stationed at the Town Hall every morning from 8 to 12 to answer any questions citizens may have, and town employees have been attending census seminars to help out, McGlothin said.

“There is a good effort throughout the parish to get the census through and counted,” he said.

The Natchez-Adams County Complete Count Committee has set up informational booths at Walmart and the Natchez Mall, and members have made a couple of appearances on radio talk shows, chairwoman Darlene Jones said.

“We have just been trying to get the word out,” she said.

The committee is also in the process of planning to have a big census day event next Wednesday, Jones said.

“We are going to gear up and hopefully get a lot of people to come out that day,” she said.

Census forms — which are delivered to every residence — are due back by April. Those who do not return their forms may have a visit from a census worker, who will ask the questions that are on the form.

Forms should arrive this week.