SAN BENITO — Parents and volunteers got a thorough presentation that explained the steps to completing the 2020 Census — along with breakfast.

San Benito school district officials explained the importance of participation to parents at a meeting Thursday at the Landrum Education Complex Meeting Center.

“We wanted the opportunity to share the importance of Census 2020 and to be able to give them the information they need to complete the census themselves,” said Luis Gonzalez, director of Family and Community Engagement for the school district.

“But also to motivate and encourage their family members and friends,” he added.

Gonzalez said the theme for San Benito CISD is “everybody counts.”

He said a response site is available at the Landrum Education Complex at 450 S. Dowling St. and events where parents can complete the census on mobile devices.

The traditional method of mailing out the survey is promoted as well, according to Gonzalez.

“We are going to provide incentives to those that can verify they completed the census. We are giving T-shirts and extra credit hours for volunteers who attend,” Gonzalez said.

He said it is very important to complete the census because it determines representation and is the way federal funds are provided to local governments for the next 10 years.

“Whatever we get counted on 2020 is going to determine funding for the school district and municipal governments,” he said.

“We want to make sure everyone counts so that we get the maximum amount of resources,” Gonzalez said.

During the meeting, he also said ESL classes are offered for parents who do not speak English and are funded through the census count.

“We need not only San Benito people but all citizens to be counted,” he said.

Parent volunteers Enid Fernandez and Ana Laura Garrido, whose children attend Riverside Middle School, were at the meeting.

“I didn’t have the knowledge about the census because I have not lived here for 10 years. For me it was new and very important to learn about the importance of the monetary and economic help for the city and schools,” Fernandez said.

Garrido said she attended for similar reasons.

“There is information you sometimes don’t comprehend. There are people who are afraid of doing the survey because of migratory problems and it is important to know their migratory status does not matter in this case,” Garrido said.

“If we are here, we all count. It is good for us to be counted to receive more resources for our communities,” she said.

“San Benito, cuenta” both parents said.