Call me a dork, but I did a little jump for joy when the 2010 census arrived in my mailbox this week. I'm not exactly sure why I am so excited to stand and be counted – maybe it's because it is the first time I can list children in my household – but I immediately tore open the envelope, filled it out, and put it right back in the mail.

Since the first census in 1790, children have been undercounted more than any other age group in the nation. It might not seem important to list your three-month-old who can't even sit up as a member of the household, but considering that the collected data is used to determine where more than $400 billion in federal funds (including $26 billion for educational services and other programs focused on children) will be distributed, you might want to think again. Census information is vital to the strength of our communities. So before sending back your 10-question form, be sure to double check that each "being" in your household is counted – regardless of their age, citizenship, or nationality. And if you have preschool or older tots at home, have them help you count – it's a great way for them to see how every little bit helps.