Making Sense of the Census
Julie Menin, Director of NYC
Census 2020 and Jennifer Jones
Austin, Esq., CEO and Executive
The 2020 Census is less than
three weeks away, and NYC has a
lot at stake.
The census determines how
hundreds of billions of dollars in
federal funding are divided among
communities across the country —
but what does that mean for New
Looking past the sheer numbers,
census-related funding supports
important public programs
that so many New Yorkers rely on,
from childcare to youth programs
to workforce development. In total,
there are more than 100 census-related
funding programs that support
our city and our communities.
And they all rely on a complete
census count to get the funding we
deserve. That’s why a coalition of
faith leaders are organizing to ensure
every community based in
New York City is counted.
Want to help make sure your
community thrives with all these
services and more for the next decade?
Then there’s just one simple,
easy thing you need to do: respond
to the 2020 Census..
“Making Sense of the Census” is
a weekly column from Julie Menin,
Director of NYC Census 2020. Every
week we will be publishing pieces
from Julie, and guest authors laying
out the facts and answering tough
questions about this year’s census.
Starting March 12, you’ll be able to
fill the census out at my2020census.
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COURIER L 10 IFE, FEB. 28-MAR. 5, 2020
The crowd looks on as some bots preform their pre-programmed tasks (above). The Kings
Bay robotics team shows off their trophy (below). Photos by Zoe Freilich
Battle of the bots
Sheepshead Bay kids sweep library robotics competition
BY BEN VERDE
A legion of pint-sized engineers
fl ocked to the Brooklyn Public Library’s
central branch for a boroughwide
robotics competition on Feb. 22,
where a group of Sheepshead Bay kids
swept the competition.
The youngsters, who ranged in
age from 9 to 17, were grouped into 13
teams that represented their local library
branches, and worked together
to create robots that competed in various
tasks, such as delivering objects
and navigating obstacle courses.
The 13 fi nalists had been victorious
during last week’s 28-team semi-fi nal
round, which took place at the Flatbush
The program is an interactive way
to introduce young would-be coders to
programming and engineering, said
one 14-year-old participant.
“I love programming, and I really
wanted to get started with it,” said
Talib Folberg, who competed with the
New Lots branch. “The robotics competition
was the best way to get started.”
Folberg helped program his team’s
bulky grey robot on wheels to perform
simple functions while following a line
along the course, such as interact with
a crane and a swing, or move in a circle.
Saturday’s competition engulfed the
usually-quiet grand lobby of the Grand
Army Plaza book repository into a chaotic
arena of raucous competition, said
a library spokeswoman.
“We think of libraries as quiet
places, but on this day people were
cheering, we were loud,” said Fritzi
Bodenheimer. “Everyone worked really
hard, it was dramatic.”
Adding to the excitement was the
fact that the youngsters were participating
purely because of their love for
robots, rather than because of a school
assignment, said Bodenheimer.
“They enjoy what they’re doing,
they enjoy their teammates, and we
were just thrilled to have that in the
library on a beautiful Saturday,” she
The teams of young mechanics had
worked together on their creations
for 12 weeks, and competed throughout
their winter break, according to
After more than fi ve hours of competition,
engineers from Sheepshead
Bay’s Kings Bay branch took home
the gold, and will go on to represent
Brooklyn in a citywide tournament
with NYC First, a non-profi t designed
to promote STEM education in the
Persons depicted are models being used for illustration purposes only
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