Dora and the U.S. Census To Parents: You Have Children!

Dora the Explorer is now working for the Feds! The U.S. Census Bureau has partnered with Nickelodeon for their "Children Count Too" campaign, which reminds parents to include their children when filling out census forms this month. Expect to see, hear, and read about Citizen Dora everywhere you turn.

According to the Census Bureau, children, especially minority children, have been undercounted in every census on record. The 2000 census missed nearly four percent of children under age five, according to a study published last December.

Honestly, the issue perplexes me. This time of year, we're remembering children on tax returns, summer camp applications, field trip permission slips, and shopping mall runs -- Who suddenly develops "fam-nesia" when filling out a census form? Dora will exhorting parents in both Spanish and English, but I'm not sure she's fluent in "irresponsible."

The TV campaign is clear and cute, much more so than the first draft, of which I've secretly obtained this transcript:

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Swiper: "Hellooooooo, Dora! What have you got there?"

Swiper snatches the census form out of Dora’s hands.

Dora: "Swiper, give that back! If I'm not counted, we may lose out on federal subsidization of vital infrastructure services, as well as be denied accurate congressional representation! And just imagine the electoral ramifications!"

Swiper sheepishly returns the form.

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You may not care much about a slip of paper from Uncle Sam (at least one without a check in it), but if you care about health, education, roads, senior services, and upcoming elections, the census is very important. So parents, when filling it out, please remember you have children!

... And tell 'em Dora sent you.

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