Now that Connecticut’s 2022 gubernatorial election has been decided, participating fifth-grade classes will get a chance to elect a new CT Kid Governor – the fifth since the start of the civics education program.
Each student running for CT Kid Governor has chosen a platform – such as access to healthy food, anxiety and depression, the elderly, literacy, and cyberbullying, and now their fifth-grade peers from across the state can listen to the candidates’ campaign videos to help them make their choices.
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After making stops Wednesday in Torrington, Waterbury, and Bristol, the Connecticut Kid Governor Election Rally Bus Tour will make stops Thursday at schools in Enfield, East Hartford, East Hampton, and Wethersfield where there will be rallies and games like civics trivia.
The energy among the students was one of excitement, according to Brian Cofrancesco, director of the Kid Governor program, adding that the students were energized talking about the three branches of government and the possibility of getting a pass to the Old State House in Hartford.
“You would think it was $100,” Cofrancesco said.
Another fact all the children seemed to know is that they have to be 18 years old to vote.
“Hopefully that will stick with them,” he said.
Each class registered to participate in this election has received lesson plans and digital resources so that students can learn about state government and participating in the democratic process, coordinators said.
After listening to each candidate’s platforms, the fifth graders will be casting their votes for the next Kid Governor. Voting will be open through Nov. 15. The Connecticut Democracy Center will then tally the votes and announce the winner later this month, followed by the inauguration of the winning candidate in January. Each of the other candidates will serve as part of a cabinet.
This year, 334 classrooms are taking part in the election, with more than 9,400 registered voters.
The current Kid Governor – Makhi Ettienne-Modeste of and a student from John F. Kennedy School in Windsor – won last year after campaigning for the protection of pets. Makhi used his platform to increase awareness of signs of animal abuse (bodily injuries and emotional distress), creating posters to hang in the community, and by encouraging people to donate to nonprofits that help abused animals.
Mahki joined the bus tour today.
“They know who he is,” Cofrancesco said. “He connected to them as a 10-year-old … It was a really exciting, really high-energy day.”