State Historical Society offers 4th graders project

State Historical Society offers 4th graders project
The South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives is once again offering a census project for fourth-grade students throughout South Dakota.

There are 20 questions for the students to answer in the voluntary project. Some of the questions include: Have you been to Mt. Rushmore? What is your favorite food? What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you left or right handed? and What is your favorite subject in school?

Last year, the census was taken by 375 students in 20 schools throughout South Dakota.

"The South Dakota State Historical Society is very grateful to those teachers who used their time to give the census to their students," said Chelle Somsen, archives director. "The project teaches fourth-grade students the importance of collecting census data."

Last year's census project revealed a number of interesting statistics. For example, 42 percent of students listed math as their favorite subject, 43 percent listed pizza as their favorite food, 69 percent of the fourth graders had been to Mt. Rushmore, and 77 percent were born in South Dakota.

"Censuses are vital historical records which hold useful data for researchers and genealogists. Statistical figures offer greater insight into our ancestors," said Somsen. "The fourth graders will learn how to collect census information and see how data is compiled.

"One of our most frequently used collections is the state censuses taken by South Dakota in the years ending in 5 through 1945," added Somsen. "This school census project is reminiscent of those historic censuses."

For more information visit the State Historical Society's Web site at The materials for the school census are found under the "In the Spotlight" column in the "4th Grade School Census" link. The school census project is running in conjunction with other "Archives Month, 2006" activities.

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