Happy New Year, Oregon!
As I celebrated the joys of the holiday season, Oregon’s children gave me renewed hope for the future of our state.
This past November, my office conducted the second annual election of Oregon’s Kid Governor. I’m so excited about the impact this program is having on so many Oregon fifth graders. If you would like to show your support for Oregon’s children, please join us at the Inauguration Ceremony of Erikka Baldwin, Oregon’s 2019 Kid Governor.
January 8; 11:00 am; Senate Chamber; Oregon State Capitol; 900 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301
The Kid Governor program is an award winning civics education program created in 2015 by the Connecticut Democracy Center. In 2017, my office adapted Connecticut’s program for implementation here in Oregon. New Hampshire is the latest state to join the program. Kid Governor provides children an outstanding, first-hand experience in civic engagement. It not only teaches them how elections work, but also why it is so important to be an engaged, educated voter.
Before voting in November, over 1,250 Oregon fifth graders took part in specially designed civics classes. Erikka Baldwin, a fifth grader at McCornack Elementary in Eugene, was elected the 2019 Oregon’s Kid Governor on her platform of finding forever homes for rescued dogs and cats.
I think you’ll also be encouraged by the great work Oregon’s first Kid Governor, Dom Peters, has been doing for the past 12 months. Dom is now a sixth grader at Willamette Valley Christian School in Brooks. It has been wonderful to be a part of Dom’s life as he has grown into a gifted young leader. His blossoming confidence and enthusiastic advocacy for kindness and preventing bullying, which was his campaign platform, has been a testament to the value of the Kid Governor program.
Dom has been a busy Kid Governor. He has had multiple public speaking engagements, he hosted the Oregon Capitol Tour & Civics Lesson video for elementary school children, and he and I created a Public Service Announcement to encourage adults to vote. Dom also blogs about his Kid Governor experiences, and he actively engages in various efforts to teach children how they can help prevent bullying.
Being Kid Governor is not all work and no play. Dom threw out the first pitch at a Keizer Volcano’s baseball game, called several innings from the announcer’s booth, and he has given out quite a few autographs.
Dom’s crowning achievement as Oregon’s 2018 Kid Governor is the book he wrote that is now published. Pippin and the Super Kind Friends Club is an engaging story that teaches children why it is so important to be kind. Dom has read his book to various audiences around the state, including at the Oregon State Fair.
We here in the Oregon Secretary of State’s office can’t wait to start helping Erikka with her practical plans and attainable goals to further her platform. Every Oregon fifth grader can be a part of Erikka’s program to find forever homes for Oregon’s rescued cats and dogs and make a difference in their communities. This office will be an active part of Erikka’s Kid Governor journey and will continue to support Dom as he grows and matures.
Please make some time next week and join us to celebrate Erikka and Dom. Oregon’s children surely are our hope for the future.