While Tallapoosa County didn’t come in as the champs of the Alabama Census Bowl, it still earned $30,000 for its school systems thanks to the dedication of the Tallapoosa County census committee and residents for participating.

Tallapoosa County finished as the fourth runner-up, behind Choctaw in third, Sumter in second and Macon as the grand-prize winner.

“You’re all winners for making it this far. Your work has not only helped your county and its people, but everyone in the state of Alabama. That’s worthy of celebration,” the Alabama Census Bowl press release said.

Tallapoosa County was competing against 32 of the lowest self-participating counties in Alabama for completing the 2020 census, so residents should be proud to have made it this far.

Not only did Tallapoosa County earn money for its school systems but also increased its participation in the census, which is vital to help an accurate count. The census numbers affect federal funding of various programs as well as representation on the national level.

The money will be awarded in October and must be used for programs or projects that directly benefit students. Eligible items include classroom supplies and materials, equipment upgrades, new technology or learning software.

Tallapoosa County’s census committee spent its $1,500, which was awarded to each county participating in the Alabama Census Bowl for marketing and promotion, on posters, yard signs, census form printouts, flyers and digital marketing.

In-kind assistance included media outlets as well as giveaway incentives, census video creation, announcements at high school football and consistent advertising.

“Thank you to every single person on this (committee) for consistently pushing thismessage out on social media,” Tallapoosa County tourism director Sandra Fuller said in an email. “You are so busy with your primary jobs and you still took time out of your day to continually share this message. I know the (Tallapoosa County) County

Commissioners sincerely appreciate your help with this.”